Die Konferenz der Tiere

The trailer for an upcoming German CG feature, Die Konferenz der Tiere, co-directed by Reinhard Klooss and Holger Tappe at Constantin Film:

It’s based on a 1949 children’s book by Erich Kästner that took an Animal Farm-esque approach to Germany’s East-West conflict. The book was previously adapted into an animated feature in 1969. A clip from that earlier film can be viewed on YouTube. Which version would you rather watch?

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  • Doz Hewson

    Speaking solely for myself: I’d rather watch the 1969 version. This year’s version is….why the hell’s it set in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA???? What’ve WE got to do with it? This year’s version, in my proud opinion, is the product of people who are SCARED OF THE EXTANCE / LIFE OF EAST GERMANY and WEST GERMANY and THE NEED TO COME TO TERMS WITH EVERYTHING THAT WENT DOWN DURING THOSE TWO LANDS’ TIME ON THIS PLANET.

    And that trailer was just TOO REDOLENT OF REAL LIFE AS FILTERED THROUGH ONE’S DREAMS AND MEMORIES….that’s my personal take. Yours is gonna differ.

    • Jeff K.

      ummmmm….the 2010 version is set somewhere in Africa. The theme was changed from war to environment. I know not everyone speaks German, but I would have thought the lion, the rhino, the zebra…YOU KNOW, THE WHOLE LION KING THING!!! I thought that would have been a dead giveaway.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MovieRatIan Movie Rat Ian

    Looking at the 1969 version, I love how it’s looks…but I will admit this trailer doesn’t look too bad, they’re being surprisingly dramatic with it (okay, until that end thing), I’ve seen worse characters and the environments look pretty cool. So…not the worst thing I’ve seen here, no.

  • http://youngfoolishanimator.blogspot.com Soriah

    The trailer had me really interested in the film until I saw the end. At first it seemed like a serious 3D animated film with dark undertones but I’m going to have do some research on Die Konferenz der Tiere before I draw any conclusion about the story.

  • Mayne

    The 1969 version is uber-wacky with a Zagreb influence, hampered by a low budget. The new one is dead serious and might as well be live action except for that wacky thing at the end. This must be a tale that doesn’t travel well, despite setting the new one in NYC.

  • http://okgrillo.blogspot.com Oscar Grillo

    “Which version would you rather watch?” None.

  • Saturnome

    The trailer of the new version is misleading I guess.

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    One thing about the trailer is very clever: it uses a dead serious narrator (Otto Sander, quite famous around here) instead of giving examples of actual dialogue. And that’s a good thing, because …

    The script won the price as “Best german feature animation script” 2009. I was there, otherwise I wouldn’t had believed it. Out of about 14 contestants 4 were shortlisted. Excerpts from these were read on stage. Read. By a renowned children’s radioplay voice actor. No pictures, no storyboards – for an animation script prize. After a short synopsis he read dialogue.

    And what dialogue it was. Imagine talent-free authors trying to appeal to 5-year-olds and be hip at the same time. Talking animals are bad enough in Hollywood, in Germany they’re abysmal.

    The only bright moment of the show was the moderator mentioning that a total of 4 scripts staged their climax at a dam the animals wanted to blow up. Everything else was just wrong, childish attempts to mix up ill-matching elements into something a german TV station wouldn’t censor. There was not a single script aiming at adults.

    Oh, and the catering was good. No wonder, the costs of the presentation of the price by far exceeded the award sum of 5.000,- €.
    (See http://bit.ly/8IT1Yq)

    • Jeff K.

      Wow, that is sad. I am interested in looking at the Kaersten book, but from the trailer at the distributor’s site, it looks like it fits into a largely indistinguishable genre here in the states of animals fighting against human development. Not a bad concept, but largely the domain of unimaginative filmmaking in the US. And it will be in 3D – big surprise.

  • Michel Van

    this 3D CGI “Remake” of “Die Konferenz der Tiere”
    do the world need really this ?

    I love the 1969 animated original.
    this beautiful adaptation of Erich Kästner book
    but one moment
    this German Trailer is diverent !!!
    it not about madness of War
    the voise tell dramatically
    about madness of destruction of World by Men

    so is this Remake a Drama about how Animals save World from us ?
    NO… that the way of Constantin Films to publish there Movie
    this gona be of 08/15 children Move CF produce every year

    it was cheaper to remaster the Original and bring back in cinema
    and DVD or Blu-ray than produce this 3D CGI crap…

  • wolfram

    Coming from germany and knowing the book since my childhood, I have to say that the story is not so much about an east west conflict, it carries more a for that time visionary ecological message. The animals are rising against the humans, having a big meeting with them, and after failure, they are kidnapping all of their kids..
    Anyway, the 2D movie from 1669 has some nice designs, but is full with silly jokes and doesn’t ransport the subject.
    I’m curious for the new one, but having experienced the quality of german 3d productions I wouldn’t expect too much..

  • martin quaden

    re. doz’s question of why the hell this is set in the US: very roughly, the plot of kaestner’s book has communication at the UN headquarters break down completely (the human representatives start fighting like school kids). So the animals of the world get together and decide to fix what the humans f’ed up. That’s why they travel to the UN and end up in NYC. – the 69 film was also Germany’s first full length animated feature (if you ignore all the Lotte Reininger ones). Cheers from Hamburg, Martin

  • http://mantichore.wordpress.com Mantichore

    Yep. Can’t say either version excites my curiosity all that much.

  • http://www.kellytoon.com Kelly Toon

    I withhold comment until I know what the voiceover is saying.

    • Jeff K.

      Yes, what do those German filmmakers think making a film in German. All films should be made in English, because we are the center of the universe. Better that you had not posted.

  • martin quaden

    on a side note: Germany’s “animated film culture/landscape/industry” is bogged down by avoiding all content that doesn’t come with a build-in audience, aware of the material being turned into family entertainment (no guarantee that this audience will also show up and buy tix). By now, there’s hardly any German kiddie book or pre-existing character / brand left to regurgitate, so we just get the sequel to the sequel to the film based on some book or other. Basically all of Kaestner’s work has been done-as-film multiple times: “Das doppelte Lottchen” alone got two live-action adaptations in the US alone (called “The Parent Trap”). He’s like the German Dr Seuss without rhymes or our Astrid Lindgren. “Die Konferenz” seems just old enough, that no one recalls the last version. Plus it’s got animals in it and I’m sure they’re gonna sing and dance and fart in this new version at some point. I’m certain this super-safe approach to content is just the same in the US, but there is just more pop culture floating about than here. – Anyone knows what happened to the “Captain Underpants” movie?

  • Chris Sobieniak

    ” “Die Konferenz” seems just old enough, that no one recalls the last version. Plus it’s got animals in it and I’m sure they’re gonna sing and dance and fart in this new version at some point.”

    Wonder if the furry community would take note of it (or would it go past even their heads)?

  • dro

    (Replying to Chris) The furry community sometimes clues into foreign animated features, but it’s pretty random if it happens, and is usually confined to “Hey, look at this YouTube clip.” Not many bother trying to genuinely look up the obscure stuff. Some of us do, for curiosity’s sake. One of my friends who’s fascinated with post-apocalyptic films decided to rip into the 1939 short Peace on Earth, and its 1955 remake.

    Speaking for myself, I’m usually very disappointed at what I find, funny-animal wise. On the other hand, it means I’ve still got standards, thank god. Others in the fandom get very enthusiastic about any piece of animated crap, and that’s sad, but within the fandom there are still some of us who appeciate good, entertaining animation in any form. Heck, I was going to the International Tournee of Animation years before I found out about the fandom. Shorts like Balance, Tango and How to Kiss were leagues ahead of what was on Saturday morning TV. I bought the occasional issue of FPS when opportunity allowed it.

    Although I consider myself an animation fan, more knowledgeable than the general public, I’m not an aficionado; I feel guilty at never having watched a lot of classics. Still, I’m really hoping I can see The Secret of Kells one day, and I can’t wait for The Illusionist. (Les Vacances de M. Hulot is one of my favorite films.) Someday, heck, maybe I’ll be able to afford taking the time off to attend the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

    In any case – I want to thank the folks who run Cartoon Brew. I know the furry fandom isn’t your demographic, that the prevailing attitudes towards it are completely understandable, and that you’d probably prefer if I lurked here silently. But for someone who’s also an animation fan at the same time, CB is an amazing resource that constantly surprises me with new things. If a post includes talking animal critters and doesn’t suck, hey, added bonus for me, and if it doesn’t, it’s still great to read and watch. Or in the case of Orgesticulanismus, to translate.

    And if any of our rank try to rise above the fandom and apply for work in the industry, er… please try not to hold it against them.

  • Michel Van

    a look in first version from 1969

    its made by Curt Linda (*1919-2007†)
    born in Budweis (today České Budějovice, Czech Republic)
    his Father had first movietheater in Budweis, were Linda spend his childhood.
    later he made education to Actor
    in 1960 he play a role in the Yugoslav movie “Spion X-25″
    he stay there in animated films production company Triglav-Film and Zagreb-Film
    1961 back in Germany he founded “Linda-Film Produktion”

    he made animated short movie for “Bavarian Broadcasting”
    and gain recognition in Germany for unconventional stile and storys
    “Die Konferenz der Tiere” was his first feature film and major success back in 1969
    his second feature film about life of Johannes Kepler was canceld
    as Germany ministy of cultur stop payment

    with short movie “Charlotte Salomon – Ein Tagebuch in Bildern 1917-1943″
    (about the Holocaust) he get International recognition

    in 1970s to 1980s he work only for TV
    he produce the International Serie “Märchen der Völker”
    founder of “Association internationale du film d’animation”
    made series like “Geschichten aus der Geschichte”
    and hilarous “Lieben Sie Wagner?” a spoof on Nibelungen and Richard Wagner
    also his International Serie Opera presto is a spoof on 13 Opera classics.

    his Third feature film “Shalom Pharao” its about Bible tale of Joseph
    the Fourth feature 1992 film “Harold und die Geister” is combination real and animated
    his last feature film and his best was “Die kleine Zauberflöte”
    free after Amadeus Mozart work, The Magic Flute

    in 1998 Linda close his “Linda-Film Produktion” and wend in retirement

  • MadRat

    I don’t mind the artistic style of the 1960s version but the animation seems uneven and primitive to me.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    I understand what you’re saying dro. I personally consider myself an aficionado personally despite not really being out and about over it. I felt I had experience early on thanks to VCR’s and cable TV having neutered such an interest (that and books).

    I remember some years back someone had to send me a DVD copy of “Felidae”, and that film gave me interest in checking out the book itself and thought they did a good job adapting that to film.