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“The Man With The Iron Fists” Animated Preview by Eric Calderon and RZA

Once again Universal Pictures is using animation (in this case quite limited, though artistically done) to create a viral promotional piece to presage a major live action feature. The Man With The Iron Fists, stars Oscar winner Russell Crowe in a film directed and co-written by rapper RZA. This animated prequel finds the Blacksmith (RZA) beginning his journey through China. Eric Calderon directed this piece with RZA, through Titmouse in LA. Character design and storyboard by Chase Conley, illustrations by Chase Conley, Xiongliang Li, Connie Wong:

  • What exactly was animated about this?

  • Taylor

    waiting to see if any mocap/animation debaters rise form the shadows and consider this animation, while shunning mocap.

    • I remember going to the year end Society of Illustrator show in NYC when they were showing the “sequential” category winners. They had random drawings by Steve Brodner and since the magazine article used them over the course of the 5 page article they said they were sequential. I argued with an SOI curator that was stretching it a bit…sequential to me at least was more along the lines of comic/comic book art. But it was there show.

  • Stylish, but not really animated, Faux-nimation, I’d call it.

  • In it’s defense, it’s more “animated” than Bakshi’s opening for Wizards. I think I saw some preset smoke actually move. Nice illustrations though.

  • Billy Batz

    Once again Disney seems to be the only form of animation recognized unfortunately.Hit the books cartoon Brew talkbackers, yes, this IS animation, it’s just not Disney animation which is all you know. Go watch brother Bear and remain ignorant to other forms of art and culture.

    • Mac

      Is not the tacit approval of the RZA enough for these people?

  • GW

    Hmm. It has smoke in motion which technically means it’s animated, but it’s done in a way that doesn’t contribute to the representation of the portayed events. I’d say it’s up for grabs whether this is animated or an illustrative montage.

    My own opinion is that it has animation in it, but it’s really an illustrative montage peppered with occasional animation like some objects that move a little and smoke effects.

  • JWLane

    There wasn’t enough drawing to make this a decent story board animatic; all the heaping layers of sound EFX, and pictures that don’t change. No matter what you’re definition of animation is, this bites.

  • In 2002 we did a similar thing. We actually hand drew all of out cinematics (about 10 I think) for the Mark of Kri, on Playstation2, by recording the brushstrokes in Painter and playing them back. Although neither are “animated”, I must admit ours feel a bit more organic and appealing in nature. Check them out on YouTube :)

  • Eric Graf

    Doesn’t do it for me. It was either a very nice radio play with distracting pictures, or a badly under-animated film. Either way, the lush soundtrack was fighting with the sparse, nearly motionless visuals rather than complementing them.

  • Yeah, maybe not full animation, but closer to “motion graphics”. Still very cool to look at. I really like the illustration style and the way they did the transitions and put the whole thing together. I liked it.

  • Brad Constantine

    You guys are missing it. Best Eraser Animation I’ve seen all day!!

  • sebastian zegers

    pretty cool, but if i want to see hip hop samurais, i might as well watch Samurai Champloo or Afro Samurai :)