Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight by Dreamworks is now available on Netflix! Our teams at Mikros Animation are proud to be able to present their work to the world. We sat down with Tanushree Guha, Junior Artist, part of the episodic team at Mikros Animation Bangalore who crafted this series. She talks about her career and experience working on the show:
Can you tell us about your journey in the animation industry?
After studying art and animation at Savannah College of Art and Design, I worked as a glass blower for a short period. Back in India, I joined an animation studio where I produced projects for Nickelodeon and Playmobil. I’ve been with Mikros Animation for just over a year now, and Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight is my first project here.
Kung Fu Panda is a franchise that is already well known to the teams of Mikros Animation Bangalore, what was your reaction when you learnt you’ll collaborate on this new series?
I remember feeling incredibly lucky when I learnt I get to work on THE Kung Fu Panda. I’ve been a huge fan of Po since I was 12 years old! Then came the excitement that kept growing as I learnt more about the project.
From your perspective, what is the feel of this show?
The show feels like an action-comedy series, but at the same time, it’s got a lot of heart. It revolves around themes of friendship and family and how complicated those relationships can be, especially when you’ve got bigger fish to fry (like saving the world). What’s inspiring about a character like Po is that he’s both unapologetically himself and is constantly trying to improve himself. The show documents not only his journey, but that of his new friends as they learn about themselves too.
What were the main artistic and/or technical challenges you had to overcome in your department?
Getting the style and performance of the characters right took some time. We have a lot of emotional sequences that required very subtle but powerful animation, so it took some restraint to not include every passing idea into the shots. Additionally, we had a large and diverse set of characters, we had to consider their personalities when it came to their performance.
We were very tempted to add a lot of cool details to our action sequences, and we did to some extent. At the same time, we had to simplify things along the way so that it wasn’t confusing for audiences, and we strove for clarity of performance above all else. The action sequences in general were challenging to animate. We had to find the right references and incorporate those into the shots with the appropriate weight and timing. This took some trial and error, but I think eventually we had great success with this.
This was all done during the pandemic, so that posed its own challenges.
Do you have a favorite sequence?
That’s very hard to pick because there are so many I love! If I had to pick just one, it’s the one where Po and gang attend an Indian wedding. It’s a hilarious sequence. Although it was challenging because of the number of characters in those shots, we had a lot of fun shooting references and animating it.
What are you looking forward to most with the show airing now?
I’m looking forward to more seasons! The story is excellent, and I’m incredibly invested in Po’s journey. The show certainly keeps you on your toes on what to expect next. I’m also excited to watch it with friends and family, I really think this show has something for everyone to enjoy.
Discover more of our team members by visiting the Talent Spotlights section our website.