Chinese rip-off of Presto

Trying to find a free online version of Doug Sweetland’s Pixar short Presto, reader Michael Rianda instead found this: a Chinese knock-off.

Rianda writes:

Some group of people completely reanimated and remodeled, a shot-for-shot remake of Presto (except for the crucial addition of a color changing iguana). And it’s a complete testament to the power of character animation. It’s the exact same story, timing and sound as Presto, except it’s about 100 times worse because the animation is so bad. The gags don’t come across, you don’t feel as much for the characters….it just doesn’t work.

Check it out for yourself:


  • Matt Sullivan

    WOW.

    How…I just…..that is……………….

    ….
    ….
    ….
    ………………..WTF!?!? The unmitigated BALLS! That’s the single most pure example of plagiarism I’ve EVER seen!

  • Arlyn

    Wow That really sucked, I was only able to watch 47sec of it. (rubbish)

  • Isaac
  • http://www.sibsy.blogspot.com/ Sabrina

    Wow.

    Just….wow.

  • Redkanary

    The dialogue at the end:

    “I am Little Rabbit. Happy New Year Everyone!”

  • http://www.brucelaing.com Bruce Laing

    Oy! :roll:

    they say that Imitation is the Sincerest form of flattery, but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

  • Hans W.

    This is really weird. Why would anyone want to make this? Why go to all this trouble?
    Missed the part where he gets electrocuted and dances though…

  • http://gagaman.blogspot.com Gagaman

    Wow, you weren’t kidding about it being a shot for shot remake! Why would anyone go through all the effort to do that? Is this the first time a direct rip off like this has come about? We’ve all seen those rip off style movies but not ones like that that even use the original soundtrack! Outside of student experiments of course, though maybe this is one? Even when doing a 3D tutorial using a Luxo style lamp at collage most still didn’t re-create the Pixar film shot for shot like that.

    The timing and acting has defiantly gone to the toilet, it’s a weird calculation of the movements and their eyes are dead and freaky. Amusing how they completely chickened out of re-creating that electrocution dance scene! Just wow that this even exists.

  • Keith Paynter

    Immitation is the sincerest form of copyright infringement.

  • http://jodimationindustries.blogspot.com Jodie Hudson

    Wow!!!

    Well, I guess if you are going to rip something off, instead adding half baked ideas to the stolen idea to make it seem original, just save money and time and just copy it completely. The people that made “What’s up” and “Kung Fu Prodigy” could learn a thing or two from this.

  • http://www.vimeo.com/vincentlammers Vincent Lammers

    It’s horrible. they seem to do this more often. They also did it with the supinfocom student film sigg jones:

    http://v.youku.com/index/y404

    http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_cb00XMjUwMzU3NDA=.html

    and the original:
    http://siggjones.com/

    very strange, though as a learning process it could be interesting. do not know what the deal is.

  • http://none Zack Mays

    Thats just suck big time !! How can they get away with this ??

  • En Ming Hee

    The opening scrawl reads:

    This film is dedicated to all comrades-in-arms in the business of animation. Best wishes in the Year of the Ox!

    Being Chinese myself, I dunno to laugh or cry at that line.

  • Sara H.

    I found this very intriguing. It’s a great lesson in what not to do, you know? To watch this and the original side by side, with the same timing, rendering, etc.. it shows very clearly the differences between good and bad character animation in a very detailed specific way.

  • Student

    Good GOD!!! That was terrible! Has PIXAR sued them yet?

  • Thomas

    I’d like to know more about this. Is this some kind of student project, where someone is trying to learn from the masters by copying their work? Is it intended for commercial release? There’s a story behind this and I’d love to hear it.

  • http://siskavard.blogspot.com corey

    It would be nice to see some original ideas coming from China for once.

  • nutty

    this is going to turn into a classroom material for years to come! i can imagine the animation students going through this and the original Presto side by side and learning what good animation is all about and how it add values to a story/film/shot/scene/ect..
    classic!
    we should actually be thanking these guys for going through all the troubles to remake something shot for shot. hahaa!

  • AlphaTom

    I suppose this is like poorly tracing your favorite comic book characters.

  • mike birt

    anyone notice the madagascar 2 poster at the beginning?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > I suppose this is like poorly tracing your favorite comic book characters.

    Or redrawing black & white cartoons so that TV stations had something to show in COLOR for the remainder of the 20th century. :-)

  • Tim Schuit

    Amazing the audacity it takes to do that!

  • Cameron

    Did they rip off the soundtrack to The King and the Mockingbird there at the beginning?

  • G Melissa Graziano

    I noticed the A Bug’s Life poster in the beginning…and then I noticed the Madagascar 2 poster. *facepalm*

    I guess I can abide by someone trying to teach themselves animation by copying the masters. But if they’re trying to pull this off as the original, that’s a different story.

  • Jonah Sidhom

    It’s almost unbelievable to see how many light-years the real Presto is ahead of this copy. I absolutely agree with Michael Rianda when he says, “it’s a complete testament to the power of character animation.”

    I’m gonna keep that YouTube Doubler link Isaac posted and watch it whenever I need inspiration.

  • http://[email protected] Wesley Louis

    Hmmm, I wonder if the the original (presto) had never been made, would people view this differently or would it be dimiised as a bad film because of the animation? Just wondering…..

  • http://www.joshabegglen.com Joshua

    Hahaha. Wow. I think my eyeballs just melted.

  • greg m.

    All I can guess is that this is meant to show the quality that their studio can offer to Western projects.

    They’ll probably get a ton of business.

    sheesh.

  • Danno

    People: if you commented on this thread only to say “wow”, you’re annoying. Find the fitting words, or forgo the comment.

    The funny thing about this short is that it *doesn’t* suck. It’s merely bad compared to the original. Had these animators come up with this story by themselves, we’d have thought it a good effort, with a great pixaresque story.

    However, the fact that they lifted e v e r y t h i n g makes me *want* to hate this piece.

    Reservoir Dogs, same thing, right? But at least that was great.

  • http://www.tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    It really makes me want to watch the “real” version and appreciate it a whole lot more. Hopefully some sort of lawsuit can be pursued, seeing this is totally unacceptable.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    Not a total horror but still odd.

    The side by side is revealing that missing by an inch is like missing by a mile.

    It’s easy to presume the worst intentions for their effort but Bach learned to compose by copying music note-for-note, and art curriculums often include assignments to copy old masters. Perhaps they learned a bit with this.

    However it also suggests the hopelessness of all the how-to animation books and tutorials out there. Even with a perfect model to study most people won’t hit the mark without a human to intervene and point out “this is where you missed”

  • Paul K.

    Thanks Isaac and Vincent Lammers for the links. Also, nutty is right, this is an animation-education gold-mine. Objective, unbridled formalism as a criteria where more nebulous-artistic variables are reduced to comparable performances.

    I can only hope this was a student project and they’re not trying to sell this…

    Anyway, Danno: lighten up man. You may find those comments annoying, but it is more annoying that you wrote a comment attempting to moderate a site you don’t run.

  • Fred Cline

    My guess is that a new studio in China wanted to test their abilities. Since they did not have the confidence to generate a story of their own, they grabbed a good example from their collection of Pixar DVDs. The executive in charge probably wanted to go after American animation contracts, and wanted to show how they could duplicate the work of a top American studio.

    The sad thing is, they could have spent the same amount of time and money (practically) to produce something original (and a festival entry) while at the same time testing their production pipeline. Too bad, studio in China, you lost an opportunity for real growth for your national animation industry.

  • victoria

    If the original Pixar short had never made we would never have heard about this, cause the only reason its on Cartoon Brew in the first place is the fact its a total knock off, the quality of the animation and the story (was the real Presto story all that great to begin with?) would’nt have caught anyone’s eye in the first place.

  • wgan

    chinese animation is long dead, if you want to see some originality, creativity and passion, check those made back in 50s to early 90s from shanghai animation studio; to this i have to say, it’s just another uglier form of ‘made in china’, it’s not tasteless, it’s just plain bitter and sour.

    to Fred Cline, it’s not about confidence of giving the original idea, it’s just about the full embracing of commercial in china animation industry, it left nothing but stinky scum of poor imitation and brainless copy, good for them to make money out of it (if they can) though, one thing for sure, if they can make big money out of this shamelessness, they dont bother to dig any idea (or even decent product designs). MONEY KILLED CHINESE ANIMATION

    LONG LIVE TRADIONAL CHINESE ANIMATIONS!!

    ONE DAY KARMA WILL GET YOU!! HAHAHA

  • stumpyuncle

    Yeah, but wasnt Presto pretty much a steal from Tex Avery’s Magical Maestro? And Monsters Inc. owes a lot to Chuck
    Jones’ Feed The Kitty. I guess you should only steal from OLD films.

  • wgan

    well, it will be better of if they can steal, for this ,they just grab

  • Dave Chua

    Chinese animation is on the rise. Even the most popular character now, Xi Yang Yang, is quite good, with some sharp satirical comment. Don’t stereotype the whole bunch just because of a few bad eggs.

  • Jean Poh

    I have been working in beijing for a year trying to make something big in animation field,
    this film really reflects animation quality in china. well what i could say is, they dun have a qualify animation mentor. i do believe Shawn can make a big deal in china.

    they have no sense of posing, subtex, characteristic and story telling, worst case, not even principle of animation….

    everything they care about is how to make more money with cheaper wages

    and so welcome to know the kingdom of copy catsssss

  • Phil

    WHY WHY WHY?!

  • Isaac

    Victoria said: “was the real Presto story all that great to begin with?”

    What this shows is that a story, contrary to popular opinion, is not a sequence of events. The sequence of events is just pretext for the characters to interact. The story is what the characters feel, how they express themselves, and how they affect each other. That’s why Pixar’s Presto is endearing and gripping, while replica-Presto is not.

  • Brenda

    ohgod…how dare they?!

    i can’t believe anyone who calls themselves an animator would go this low. It’s just not done! );
    I hope Pixar takes action soon!

  • Lucas

    They also did versions of Kung-fu Panda, Wall-e, Doraemon, Sigg Jones (student film from good friends of mine)…
    Apparently it’s part of a learning process. Though studying the work of others is of course useful, I’m not sure about going this far…well…

    Here’s the school’s site
    http://www.marsera.com/videos-10-32.html

  • http://www.kohrtoons.com Robert K

    For all those who say “blatant copyright infringement”, you have to realize that China doesn’t NOT acknowledge foreign copyrights. Also within china they don’t even really acknowledge their own. For funzies check out Engadget sometimes, every week some chinese company wanting to make a buck comes out with another i-phone or eyePhone or something like that. They even go as far as to make rip offs of cars as well. There is nothing that can be done, all that matters to those who made this film is getting work within their own country, which i am sure they will, it falls on us to make sure that companies like this never get any work outside of china.

  • http://www.kohrtoons.com Robert K

    Clarification, I am not saying all of china and all chinese animation companies, just the bad ones that to stuff like this. And that goes for all other rip-off-artists all over (including the American comic artist Rob Liefeld who rips-off almost everyone because he can’t draw for shit).

  • kv

    The knockoffs are actually getting better :) Saw some truly atrocious ones a while back

  • Inkan1969

    Hey, Barack, as long as you’re in China, could you go after these guys? :-)

  • ck

    I can really only imagine that this is a student-type project for someone trying to learn animation, because that’s really the only thing that could possibly make sense. It wouldn’t make sense for someone to do an exact duplicate version to sell, why would anyone spend the time to do that? Bootleggers on the street in China and anywhere else don’t shoot their own versions of the blockbusters, they just sell bad copies of the real deal.

  • Michael Rianda

    Issac, thanks for the youtube doubler link. I honestly think that this is a really good illustration of why really good character animation is a necessity in any animated film. And that video distills it really well.

    Stumpy Uncle, I disagree about Presto being a Magical Maestro steal. Have you seen it lately?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va2YVwH5J3E&feature=related

    I mean besides the fact that there is magic, a rabbit, and a stage, there aren’t many similarities. And while I’ll definitely agree that Presto owes a lot to Tex Avery, to call it a steal is sort of a longshot to me. The reason I found Presto so impressive is that it took the basic archetype of a tex avery/ warner brothers cartoon, and did it so phenomenally well, that it made that whole style fresh again. I mean when I saw it in a theatre, the entire crowd was roaring with laughter. To me, that’s like calling Raiders of the Lost Ark a direct steal of the 1930s Zorro serials.

    Lucas, thanks for that. I assumed it had to be something related to teaching themselves cg, because otherwise, why not just sell pirated versions of the real thing?

  • DanyZwany

    Oh my…

    How is that possible???

  • stumpyuncle

    Yeah, looking at it again I would have to say Presto is not as good as Tex Avery’s Magical Maestro. But what on earth is as good as a Tex Avery cartoon? I thought RAIDERS was kinda stale, even back in 1983. The ghosts made it worthwhile however.

  • http://dailygrail.com/blog/8389 red pill junkie

    Character animation?? Even the god-damned CARROT in the Chinese ripoff is unappealing!!

    Here’s a round of applause to the guys in charge of designing and modeling all the nice props that help to create the perfect ambients for the scenes in the Pixar features. You contribute in a very big way to magic of these movies —as this sordid experiment blatantly shows.

  • Sam

    It’s really sad to see these happening. I suppose their argument about copying industry work would be ‘for educational’ purpose only. But seriously, the amount of time spent into making these obviously is a lot, despite the awful quality… They could have spent the same amount of time doing something original.

    If they even think they are artist at all, they should realize this is pretty embarrassing crap, and to actually try and challenge the ‘Big Guys’ and think you can come up with works equally as good as theirs or better? Boy.

    I also realize in that school one of their Faculty member is a caucasian claiming credits from Finding Nemo and stuff. Anyone know who is this ‘Paul’ guy?
    http://edu.hxsd.com/about-teacher.html
    Maybe he know how to answer us on this.

  • Olivier L.

    Chinese school don’t recognize copyrights but chinese companies don’t have any problem suing foreign companies for copyright infringement

    http://www.chinatechnews.com/2009/11/18/11052-microsoft-found-guilty-of-character-input-copyright-infringement-in-china

  • Jeff

    It’s a chameleon not an iguana.

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    The weird thing is that in the notes it says it came out 2 years before Presto…just kidding! That’s an amazing parody. I can’t believe they would go through all that painstaking trouble. I guess having more people than they know what to do with allows for such crazy efforts. All said, it’s fun to compare with the original short. It would make a great teaching tool do shot by shot comparisons. I actually expected it to be worse.

  • Freeson Wang

    Wow…OF COURSE, it’s a “rip off” or “knock off” if its from China. Honestly, it seems like a student project of sorts. What’s with the racism guys?

  • Isaac

    The remake Lucas posted on the Chinese animation school site is much much better than the first one. They can’t possibly be by the same team. There’s also the conspicuous absence of any color-changing reptiles.

  • Deepak Verma

    this is not good…content is completely same…this presto needs lots of work to be in category of pixar’s shorts..Sorry people animation is good but all intimation..