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Feature Film

Genndy Tartakovsky’s prologue to “Priest”

I’m not sure about the forthcoming feature film based on Priest, but the opening two minutes by Genndy Tartakovsky kicks ass – literally. Sony has released this viral to introduce the film’s premise:

(Thanks, Ed Austin)

  • Steven M.

    Totally kick-ass! Way to go, Genndy!

  • Wow! I never realised being a priest could be so cool! But I wish the entire film looked as beautiful and exciting as that animation- fantastic piece of work.

  • Geoff Gardner

    Genndy Tartakovsky’s work really deserves to be on the big screeen. I’ve been hoping against hope that we’ll finally see a Samurai Jack movie … And I’m so disappointed that Cartoon Network STUPIDLY pulled “Symbionic Titan” (for a STUPID reason). If you haven’t seen any of Genndy Tartakovsky’s work yet, you really should.

    • m(_ _)m

      Well there are reports of a Samurai Jack feature film. It’s in pre-production.

      • Pick up the pace, Abrams!

      • tonma

        I read about it last year in the Frederator site, but couldn’t find any more information anywhere so I guessed it was just a rumor… I really hope it gets done some day……

    • Ron

      Yeah I always felt ‘Samurai Jack’ would work best as a movie. I hope they make one.

    • Jorge Garrido

      The convention fight scenes in Iron Man 2 were done (storyboarded, to be more specific) by Genndy… and in my opinion, where the most underrated parts of the film.

  • Ryan

    And Cartoon Network canceled this guy’s new show, why?

    • The only thing that would make me see this movie if it was done like this animated prologue. There needs to be animation geared for an older audience, outside of this “animation is for kids” bullcrap. I am questioning on why they have to waste so much money for live-action when it comes to comic book movies when the fact is that animation was the only way to go. The only thing that they do with live-action is just focus on the special effects over the acting and scripting.

      I mean look at Howard the duck, Tank Girl, and hell The Spirit. What do these three have in common? They were done in live-action, and they failed at the box-office. These three comics work well for animation, and the chances of them getting animated are not even likely. I just wish that there was more serious animation, people are asking for it.

      • m(_ _)m

        I totally agree with you. That’s why I’m so happy to see at least *this* much animation. Also, Sucker Punk recently had those animated promotional shorts (Were they official? They seemed pretty official). Then there’s the animated segment in the latest Harry Potter movie. So I think we are moving (inching) away from the “animation is for kids” mentality, while at the same time not putting it all off on Japan. I mean, I love the segment in Kill Bill, but I also like that we’re making this stuff at home.

      • m(_ _)m I couldn’t agree more. I think the reason why Sucker punch had those animated promotional shorts, as well as the animated segment in the latest Harry Potter movie is that the studios are testing to see that if people would like it. So far I have run into people who have seen these animated clips and they got a real kick out of it. And the thing is that they would like an animated feature that is PG13 or even on the lines of a R rated horror movie.

        So far, the only thing that we have that is somewhat close to a “mature” is Rango. Now that is just for the CG department, but imagine what they can do with an animated film that is geared for a mature audience that doesn’t go for the comedy style that it is usually done in. If we had something like this animated prologue or at least a 2D hand-drawn animated film of Samurai Jack or at least Sym-Bionic Titan. We’d get some cool animation that isn’t done just for laughs. So far the only thing that is close for seeing something that feels like Genndy Tartakovsky’s work in feature length animated features is Secret Of the Kells.

      • Kate

        If you like the idea of a mature cartoon movie being made, you might be interested to know that James Kochalka has recently been pitching his ‘Superf*ckers’ movie. (Superf*ckers being his comicbook series featuring immature teenage super-heros squabbling, battling and arguing over costume designs… it is funny and crude, yet with a real sensitivity, and wonderful character development. I highly recommend the book).
        If he manages to get it made it’ll be a huge breakthru – coupling his childlike cartoon style with heavy obscenities, I HOPE this gets made, but I can see the censors going nuts over it.
        I think he’s maybe teaming up with Frederator studios… so fingers triple crossed!!

    • The Gee
  • Warhead

    Incredible! Genndy really deserves bring his work to the Silver Screen. If his current employer Sony Animation could open a 2D division, it would be utterly MINDBLOWING to see what he can do.

  • Ted

    My girlfriend was meh about this; I asked her if she’d prefer it if it was Samurai Jack versus Dexter, Dexter being, of course, a vampire. Her eyes lit up in an almost malevolent manner and a firm but lingering “YES” issued from her.

  • If the entire film had been animated in the style of that prologue — I would so definitely go see it.

  • Chris

    Well, now I don’t have to see the movie. Good job, Genndy!

  • anonyMascot


    thank you.

  • Ron

    Another question: the credits say “Animation by Genndy Tartakovsky”. I assume that means he produced and directed the animated segment, not that he animated it himself. That seems like a lot for one person to animate alone. (though to hear the low-balling freelance offers I’ve been getting lately, it’s not) Anyway, I wonder who some of the animators and other artists were on this. It’s really terrific.

    • Geoff Gardner

      I’m sure that what was meant was that Genndy DIRECTED the sequence.

    • cst

      I think they say “animated” to differentiate it from the live action footage at the end, which of course was NOT directed by Genndy.

    • He actually DID animate it himself–I helped him along with a few other folks!

    • Reminds me of the credit for Gene Kelly’s Invitation to the Dance: “Cartoon Sequence by Fred Quimby – William Hanna – Joseph Barbera”. Boy, between the three of them, these guys must have sure been productive.

  • Claudia

    If the entire movie was animated like this, I would totally want to watch it.

  • Nice to see Gennedy move on to bigger and better things after Sym-Bionic Titan’s dissapointing cancellation. Why does he need CN bogging him down when he can do grander scale projects like this?

    Hopefully the Samurai Jack movie will finally come to fruitition.

  • Aj

    I loved the animation, then I was disappointed by the rest of the movie in the trailer. I think this would have been incredible as an animated feature. BUT, I dont think Symbiotic titan was that great a show, Samurai Jack was incredible and I want the rumors of a Jack animated feature to be true, but I am still not heart broken over the cancellation of a below par show.

  • victoria

    Was great til the live action started

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    The animation reminded me, in spots, of both “Secret of Kells” Viking attacks and (during the WWI-like sequence) “Peace On Earth” for the menace of the post-steampunk military.

  • About 5000 times better then the mctweened sucker punch animated prologues

    ahhh genndy, you never fail to impress

  • Paul M

    Sym-Bionic Titan was cancelled because it was TOO GOOD for TV. Hopefully this prologue will demonstrate this to media producers worldwide and they will give Genndy the support and creative freedom he needs to do what he does best – make more of the most exiting and innovative action adventure cartoons out there.

    And for the record, SBT will be back.

  • Jeffrey Simonetta

    the animation sections looks better than the live action parts. The real actors just look cheesy.

  • Wow. I was sad that SBT is canceled, but in the end it doesn’t matter because Genndy will make great stuff no matter where he works, and his action cartoons were always meant to be shown in theaters anyway.

    And best of all, I got to see the only part of Priest worth seeing for free!

  • I think I’ll go see this just so Genndy gets his well-deserved money.

  • Isn’t it about time we get a Genndy Feature?

  • Bud

    Feh. OK for a short opening. I sure wished there would be some character animation in these sorts of things, rather than just connective action tissue.

  • Spencer

    Gendy = WINNING!

  • Muntz

    In 1968 the Richard Williams Studio animated some stellar pen and ink transitional footage that so outclassed the live action surrounding it the consensus of the day was that the entire movie should have been animated in just that style. The film was “The Charge of the Light Brigade” and the more things change, the more they stay the same:

  • Toonio

    This is Samurai Jack on Amphetamines!

    Go Dexter! (the one from the lab not the serial killer) GO!

  • Craig

    Dear Cartoon Network,

    Are you sorry yet?

    Disappointed CN Fan

    • Gobo

      If Sym-Bionic Titan looked anywhere near as good as this, then sure. It didn’t, and it didn’t catch on with audiences.

      • Superstarseven

        It did look just as good if not better.
        How’s them apples, Goby?

      • Gobo

        To each their own. To me, Sym-Bionic looked cheap and cheesy, and not up to Genndy’s quality.

      • Willy105

        I can’t agree with that, since the show looked absolutely phenomenal, and a respectable jump in visuals from his past shows. It definitely looked better than the Priest short, which also looked fantastic.

  • Mike Russo

    I miss the days when Genndy used to make cartoony cartoons.

  • Nate

    Awesome little short by the Genndy the Great, but animation wont save a blah story. Sorry Priest…Skip. Genndy will continue to do way more awesome stuff anyways.

  • Toast

    Genndy and his crew did well! I’m not sure if the drawing style is based on the source material. It’s almost the same, but I’m bad at nitpicking.

    That’s odd. The manhwa in which film was based upon is about demons… and a priest who sold his soul to the…. never mind.

  • J.M

    Is that Lee Majors on the trailer?

  • The animated opening was a memorable, beautiful work of art. The live action movie trailer that followed was a forgettable teen video game that I will not pay to see.
    Artful animation=YES. Live action special effects junk=NO

  • So what’s this obsession with vampires recently? Don’t we have other, equally dramatic stories to tell? Ah, but there’s no cool fighting scenes in slow motion when it comes to tackle badly managed nuclear power plants, or right-wing backlash budget shortenings, or religiously motivated slaughter anywhere, or the mortgage scam.

    Sorry, but before I call animation “adult” I’d like to see some grown-up scripts first.

    • Kelly Toon

      At least the vampires are proper villains in this one, and not moody, sparkling, heartthrobs.

  • It was sad to know about the depature of Genndy from the notorious “Astroboy” movie and after that from the “Dark Crystal” sequel… Hope he finally founds a film project to deliver all of his majestic skills. This prologue is impressive, yet is the “been there done that” Genndy from “Clone Wars” minus the wit and funny of “Dexter” “Samurai Jack” and “Powerpuff Girls” shows.

  • I have to say this, not another vampire film. Good animation though.

  • Great animation, absolutely /ruined/ by the letterbox text. Stupid studios.

    Love everything Tartakovsky produces :)

  • RobotGhost

    It looked like a great movie until they went to live action… that’s when the trailer lost my intrest.

  • Doug

    Really cool opening for a movie. I’m sure it will be the best part of the film.

    The rest = stale and formulaic. The “in a world” trailer voice and the the now compulsory Carl Orff wannabee music is just so predicatable.

  • I agree with everybody that this is very good, but I’m here to take issue with by big grammatical pet peeve. People do it all the time, but et tu Jerry?!

    “Literally” Yes, this animation kicks ass. But it’s doesn’t LITERALLY kick ass. Because it doesn’t literally have any actual, physical feet, or any real ability to move around like a living human being in the physical world we inhabit. Sorry for the super-picky, super-nerdy comment. But, like I say … pet peeve.

  • I don’t see what the big deal is here. An animated intro to a crappy movie? Why does Genndy use such AWFUL character designs lately? It just looks bad.

  • I echo Ron’s question above…

    Anybody know who worked with Genndy on this piece?

    It really is a gorgeous piece of work, A-to-Z.
    So nice!

  • Hal

    I guess I’m in the minority underwhelmed by this – it looks like most of the direct to video animation we’ve seen from DC and the style of art just seemed to bounce around from bit to bit from Genndy to Frank Miller to token overseas animation. Nice compositions for sure, but I’ve just been spoiled by the truly outstanding animation sequence in Harry Potter 7.1 and the end credit sequence from LEGEND OF GUARDIANS (which were both uniquely stylized and well animated) so this just doesn’t feel feature film caliber – if it was anyone but Genndy would you really heap so much praise?

    • Was My Face Red

      I have to agree. As it was running I couldn’t lose the made for TV feeling it was giving me, against the Potter sequence which was very fresh and filmic. Also there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before.. and before.. and before. I miss his earlier funnier toons also.

  • Actually, along with Genndy and Brian Andrews–there was Paul Rudish, Justin Thompson, myself and couple of animators

  • david

    remember when action movies had more substance, or something beyond just “EPIC” battles and fight scenes to give the aforementioned a purpose. me too. too bad it’s like tarantino: style over substance. fanboy generation strikes again!

  • Vzk

    Hopefully after this, Genndy will do work for the film adaptation of “Preacher”.

  • Marc Baker

    That’s A very impressive piece. Hopefully, this will convince Hollywood that 2D animation isn’t as dead as they think it is, and maybe this will mark the return of animated intros in movies.

    • Hal

      I really cannot fathom something like that convincing Hollywood of anything. All these cool sequences (Kill Bill, Hellboy 2, Harry Potter, Legend of the Guardians, KICK ASS) are usually the result of the directors liking animation and sneaking it in on a budget – not any desire from the general public or marketing folks expecting hand drawn animation to really add dollars to the pot (unlike releasing films like PREIST in 3d which debatably does). Its cool that geeky filmmakers make an effort to give 2d some love, but haven’t you noticed these things are getting more and more budget looking? I was extremely excited to hear KICK ASS and SCOTT PILGRIM had the artists involved in animated sequences only to see mostly flat artwork by the creators static with camera moves. Disappointing. KILL BILL had the last really impressive 2d sequence integrated into an actual film (not a title sequence or end credits sequence) and Madhouse obviously had a budget (as well as Tarantino keeping a firm hand on the sequence to feel like his own) – its been downhill from there (with the exceptions of ROCK BAND BEATLES and KUNG FU PANDA which were pretty gorgeous). 2D animation is something that makes it into these films in SPITE of the industry, not because of it and its not going to change anytime soon. I was particularly disappointed there was no traditional 2d in the credits of TANGLED (especially considering how long it was a 2d film and it was Glen Keane’s baby for so long). Most of the motion graphics houses that do these credit sequences don’t have anyone with a lot of traditional animation talent and don’t have the budget to hire classically trained animators for 2d stuff – then we get animation that look like the end credits to FURRY VENGEANCE.

  • Hal

    I realized that in theaters this 2d sequence is going to BE IN “GLORIOUS” 3D. I’m now wondering if the look of it may be stronger with all those elements in Stereoscopic 3d depth. I stand by my earlier statements about the quality of the animation in general, but have to admit that some of the more static or flat looking sequences may have a nice depth of field that the youtube quality 2D is lacking. Hell, they may have even projected the 2d artwork onto 3D geometry and used particle simulations toon shaded for the explosions, debris and blood – in that case the entire sequence’s impact is lost. I recently talked to someone working on stereoscopic conversions of classic Disney features and it sounds like there’s some interesting stuff going on to add a sense of mass to the hand drawn artwork when those are released. I’ll be the optimist and assume that there’s some surprises Genndy may have in store. If I’d seen the LEGEND OF GUARDIANS end credits in 2D I’d have thought they were decent but elegant, not mindblowing like the intended 3D (which was like watching a shadow puppet play on a stage with layers of scrims and was incredibly effective).

  • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

    Flat people: The Movie.

  • Sir Richard

    I’m a big fan of Genndy’s work, but this sequence was not too impressive to me. It wasn’t horrible, and in fact better than a lot of stuff out there, but simply not up to the usual stellar standard.


  • John

    I love Genndy’s work be to be this just felt soulless like anime!

  • Mister Twister

    EEEEEEEEEEEEEFFFFFFFFFFFFFF only the entire film was animated…


  • Dennis the Vizsla

    Saw this movie recently. The animated intro was far and away the best part!