International trailer for <em>The Illusionist</em> International trailer for <em>The Illusionist</em>
Feature Film

International trailer for The Illusionist

The more we see of Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, the more excited we get. Here’s the international trailer:

  • Baron Lego

    This looks all sorts of awesome!

  • PP

    One fathers guilt to his estranged daughter stolen and repackaged by another wayward father to his ostracised daughter as a second hand show of affection.

  • This looks amazing! The animation, the tone, the staging are all so rich! Hope it’s up there with ‘Triplets of Belleville’! Can’t wait!

  • Bill Field

    I must admit I was really looking forward to this release, until I read the account of one of Jaques Tati’s three surviving relatives and the angst they’ve endured due to the more than questionable ethics of Sylvain Chomet in obtaining the rights to transform a personal tale of a man’s regret into a commercially viable product that resembles a Disney feature, rather than a sad tale of one’s emotional abandonment of his family.

  • This is EASILY the film I’ve been most interested in seeing this year!!!

  • while the quality looks excellent, I really did
    not connect to any sort of story or plot in
    the trailer!

  • NC

    Does anyone know if there is an art of Sylvain Chomet book out there. Or Triplets this guy has got to be the most underrated artist in animation. BTW I did like the original trailers they seem to capture the heart of the film more. This was a little too commercial, but I still can’t wait to see it. One more time if anyone knows where I can find a Sylvain Chomet art book PLEASE tell me. I want to study his style SOOOO badly.

  • hey Bill… ‘resembles a disney feature’ ????
    How the feck does this resemble a disney feature???

    How about the appropriation of the american dream ‘alpha male/ quarter back falls in love with home maker/ pretty submissive thing’ ?

    can’t we just stand back and give this movie the kudos it deserves?

    No bollocks, this looks tastey

  • looks nice. I like the backgrounds.

  • Bill Field

    Mick- I just said what I felt, which is exactly what you’re doing. We don’t agree, we are two different people. I appreciate your perspective, please don’t discount mine because you don’t agree with it. Maybe I have viewed different Disney films than you, or maybe your life experience makes you see the same movies as I have in a completely different way. “Tastey”(or tasty) isn’t a way I contemplate anything but food, and a good night’s rest, that hardly makes you wrong, no? I do see the look of the pieces I’ve seen thus far as similar to designs in 101 Dalmatians and The Aristocats- no right, no wrong, just my point of view! Thanks for your thoughts on my thoughts! I really enjoyed them.

  • Paul D

    I have read precious little, in the press, about the crew of The Illusionist. They performed admirably and delivered gorgeous work. The Illusionist is Sylvain’s film but there are a lot of talented people without whom this beautiful movie could not have been made.

    Art Director Bjarne Hansen and his small team created a gorgeous world.

    The animators worked tirelessly to create characters. They worked two, three and even, in the case of Tati supervisor Laurent Kircher, five years to breathe life into the characters that many would not even attempt to animate. Burned out at the end – I hope that they are all happy with the fruits of their labors.

    The cleanup department created some beautiful drawings and scenes. John Walsh (cleanup supervisor) and Cerissa Grieve (lead cleanup on Alice) guided a very young crew to great heights.

    The inbetweening department under Harriet Buckley – a department composed largely of kids straight out of school – was thrown into the fire and delivered great work (Harriet, if you read this I hope you’ve recovered completely.)

    CG Supervisor Campbell McAllister has received praise for a sweeping shot of Edinburgh and it is very good – but the countless vehicles and props that blend seamlessly with the hand drawn animation is no less an accomplishment – not to mention what ended up on the cutting room floor.

    Compositing, under the guidance of a MASTER, JP Bouchet, did not simply combine all of the elements… but brought the world of The Illusionist to life!

    Animators, artists and production staff dedicated themselves for years to this work of art. Their families, too, gave dearly to this movie. Well over one hundred people poured themselves body and soul into The Illusionist and I hope that each feels good about what they see on the screen.

    What’s most impressive is that, among the crew, there were no rivalries save for those that push artists to greater heights. There were difficulties, to be sure, but these were met with unity and camaraderie. There was an amazing spirit. Something that I feel blessed to have been a part of. There are many GOOD memories!

    A good number of these folks are in Edinburgh now for the UK premier of The Illusionist. I trust that they’ll gather at The Cumberland, toast each other and absent friends, and enjoy the film.

  • I caught ‘The Illusionist’ last week at the Sydney Film Festival and it was brilliant! Even better than ‘Les triplettes de belleville’. In a film nearly without any dialogue, you realize that silent filmmakers, magicians, and animators have a lot more in common than you’d think.. Hope you all see it real soon

  • Right on Bill… excuse my fizziness… I am bowled over by the look of this and I am really looking forward to it. yes indeed i see similarities with 101 dalmations but really they are far from significant in my eyes

    aye lad different strokes for different folks

  • foreign office

    Well, don’t be so excited, cause I saw the film, and it is booooring as hell, cold, and had a real difficult not fall asleep, despite the brilliant aanimation and the awsome designs and backgrounds. But this is still not enough for a film…

  • mel

    I was extremely excited to finally get to see the Illusionist last week. I am a big fan of Triplets de Belleville and had the highest expectations for Chomets next film.
    However, as gorgeous and breathtaking beautiful the images, animation and backgrounds are, the story falls short. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters emotionally at all, the story seemed to be happening on a surface level.
    In the great character designs and from the character and story built up in the beginning of the film, there is a huge potential for character depth, engaging personalities and development of the story, yet it stays unused. The characters don’t really develop, rather just move linearly towards that unsatisfying ending. So I ended up leaving the cinema dissatisfied and disappointed.
    I applaud all the artists for their amazing work, and at the same time I am profoundly sad that the storytelling does not live up to the rest of the art.

  • Greg M.

    Nice tribute Paul! Your part in any success that this film may have, is a major one! You pretty much oversaw all of the Animation single handedly! Major kudos to you!

  • This is worth going to the theatre to see. Very nice.

  • Dan C

    What other people other than Sylvain Chomet worked on this? Forgive me but from reading the press I thought it was all down to his art direction in mimicking Disney’s Aristocrats whilst reworking an existing original script, imagining non-existing Edinburgh, designing then animating all the main characters, orchestrating the sound track, hand painting in water colour the ever changes of light, compositing each element before editing it all into endearing love story. Wasn’t this done in the same way as Triplets? Which offhand, other than Tomov, who abandoned ship on this one, I can’t think of another person who was credited in any significant way. Of course you can disregard the CG elements as you “don’t need to be able to draw to do any of that”.

  • Ryan

    Looking very nice… Is anyone else reminded of those Broken Sword games when they look at this?

    • So pleased that someone else has thought this and posted it on the internet … takes me back to Paris in the fall and hwlping George Stobbart suss out what them pesky Templars are up to. I have been searching to find if there’s anyone involved in both … I wonder …

      • Ed|Rush

        I got a chance to see this film a few weeks ago and have been researching into the likeness’s between them, as I too was reminded of the early Broken Sword titles.

        The animation had a similar style and character – and I felt that the atmosphere and humour were somewhat paralleled also.

        I wonder too if it is just coincidence.. ?

        I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Well I’m a big Jaques Tati fan, a Chomet fan and of Scottish descent so I’m in ecstasy about this film. From what I’ve seen of the trailer and heard, this sounds very much like a classic Tati movie.

    That explains the lack of dialogue. Tati is the master of making “Silent sound comedies.” That statement makes absolutly no sense unless you have seen “Mon Oncle” and “Playtime.” Tati is the Buster Keaton of France, you either dig his style or get bored. IMO, “Playtime” is one of the greatest slapstick comidies known to man, watertight in every way and worth to be studied by all animators.

    Jerry, please keep us informed on how this get’s distributed in the U.S. I’d cough up $20+ to see this!

  • I am the maximum amount of excited for this movie. Cannot wait.

  • I’m not a fan of Chomets, however I am a fan of Tati and based on the this trailer it appears that Chomets made a Tati film on a grander scale than Tati ever could have. This could be wonderful.

  • Bill Field

    As an animator and cartoonist, I don’t want to disrespect the animation, and the hard working artists, themselves. I was a big fan of “Triplets” and I can tell artistically this is on that amazing level- Paul your work is wonderful and those brilliant folks you highlight, as well. It doesn’t change my earlier comments, but I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t give props to these really really talented individuals.

  • John

    Roger, you’re a big Jaques Tati fan and of Scottish descent. You might want to check out the history of Tati’s Illusionist Script before commiting to being a fan of Chomet.

  • e

    In case you haven’t seen it, official French website here;

  • John. I read the link posted by PP, but I’ll need more objective accounts and evidence before I can judge, if I can even judge at all. Desperation drives us to do all sorts of things we would never believe ourselves capable of doing. Sometimes it’s not easy to see how to right such terrible wrongs. I catch a lot of flack for being a fan of “Secret of NIMH.” I’ve heard a lot of bad back stories, but they are not going to change the fact that that particular cartoon brought me some hapiness in dark times at a young age.

    As to Chomet, it would not surprise if he did some underhanded things. How many directors of America’s most venerated cartoons (or movies for that matter) have completly clean hands? If at the very least; as a complement to the young animators who worked to the soul to create such marvelous sequences, nothing is going to deture me from seeing this film.

    Truth is the daughter of time…

  • Dave O.

    J’adore M. Chomet!

  • Robert Barker

    Max Fleischer in the 21st Century! The Rotoscope process has never looked better. I think the way they use it is much better than the results Ralph Bakshi.

  • Dan

    I wonder how much live action reference was used to animate this. The color palette is kinda drab, but the film looks good. I’ll see this.

  • Chelsea

    If anyone is curious…. full length clips can be found on the twitch film website:

  • I’m surprised at how much CG is there.

    The look looks not as interesting-looking as Triplettes.

    Keaton did that two-motorcycles gag in the 20’s.

    On that Roger Ebert Link there’s a lonnngggg rant from tati’s relations regarding how much the film has disgraced his memory. I don’t think they know how small a cultural blip a 2D animated feature from a french director is going to be.

  • @richard fox, I agree. This is one of those trailers that shows pretty graphics but gives you little sense of the story. It is a bit clumsy (though it could’ve been worse).

    The Russian trailer that was posted a while ago is MUCH better. It is better structured and makes it very clear what the film is about while revealing less footage than this one. They should just replace the Russian titles with English ones, and make that one their official trailer.

  • I’ve been lucky enough to see the film twice now, and much like the Triplets, I found I enjoyed it even more on the second viewing.
    A beautiful film….I’d give it four stars.

  • David

    I’m from Edinburgh originally and the backgrounds in this film look incredible. A very faithful recreation only they’ve managed to make it look even more beautiful than it is in real life.

    I can’t wait to see this film, it’s easily going to be my film highlight of the year.

  • Paul D

    Robert and Dan – we shot video for two scenes involving a complex dance. The rest is straight from the brains of animators. This film was not rotoscoped.

  • OtherDan

    Looks good! I thought I’d be as excited to see it as Triplets of Bellville, but it doesn’t have that same strangeness about it. I am very eager to see a traditionally animated film that doesn’t rely on cutting excessively though!

  • Soreane

    Although not overly inspired by what I’ve seen in the trailer I am interested to know how much actual animation was done by Chomet and which characters were drawn by other artists on the team. To the outside world the image conjured up of Chomet is of a singular animator labouring long hours over the drawing board.

  • Professor Widebottom

    Nice trailer. Lots of really good timing going on here. I’m intrigued!

  • Looks stunning.

  • For all of you who expect an amazing story. Well, please don’t. This is more a film from animators for animators. You’re gonna see some of the best animation in a long time. Enjoy whoever gets to see it.


  • Soreane: Sylvain Chomet himself animated only one small scene on this film, just to find out it was very difficult and he decided to leave it to the animators. Hope that helps the outside world :o)


  • Chuz

    The characters look fantastic. Bravo!

  • Soreane

    Thanks for the insight Victor. Mr Chomet it would seem is disingenuous on many a front in the way he thinks he can delude the outside world.

  • Dan

    Paul D, well then I commend you sir, and all of you who have worked on this striking film.

  • Greg M.

    I can only think of one other animator who used video reference of himself to refer to on the production, but even that wasn’t roto’d. Yep, some pretty amazing animation is in there!

  • w

    I really really really can’t wait to see this one, regardless of the backstory, etc. It looks like it’ll be an absorbing piece. Congrats to everyone who made this happen and also actually worked on this. :P

  • Robert Barker

    Paul & Greg: Thank you for clearing up the rotoscope issue. It’s not meant to imply true rotoscoping, but it can certainly be used as a tool in the creation process, as a reference point. Can’t wait to actually watch the film, in a theater. Hope it’s great enough that I then drag other people to it, like Coraline, or Spirited Away, or Triplets of Belleville. Best of Luck.

  • JMatte

    Congrats to the crew for what seems a beautifully made film. Looking forward to seeing it- it will feel nice to have an animated film that has a nice, slow, poetic pace.
    If the work was as crazy as on Triplettes, I do hope everyone is managing to recuperate now. All of you deserve a vacation!

  • lamatin

    thanks for the compliments paul,i’ll raise another glass to yourself and the crew at our usual friday night was great to see it on the big screen and even better to see it with the guys.congratulations to all concerned.

  • The Ghost of Warner Bros. Past

    It’s like Jacques Tati has been brought back to life. Gorgeous! Increable! Tres bon!

  • Robobob

    Very glad to have been involved in this!
    As Paul said no rivalries and amazing work from all the artists.

    Couldn’t make it to the Cumberland unfortunately but saw it in Brussels instead.

    If you’re interested in Chomet style I’d recommend checking out the work of Daniel Goossens. He’s a big inspiration of Chomet and you can clearly see the resemblance in style. As for the art direction Nicolas de Crecy is someone to check out as well as Evgeni Tomov. Both worked on The old lady and the pigeons and at some point with Chomet. As far as the character design of the Illusionist goes Pierre-Henri Laporterie did a lot of work on it also.

  • Donna

    This man is truely vulgar. I just heard an interview with the Chomet gadgie and feel I must comment as it made me feel quite ill.

    Unless he provides compelling evidence to the conturary, I will have to assume he has no interest in protecting children from abuse, which includes neglect.

    On a positive note, he makes John Terry look like a paragon of virtue

  • Ashley May

    Thanks to some of the comments here, now I feel too ashamed to want to see this. I don’t want to wind up enjoying something that will just have me labeled supportive of an evil person by other people.

    Thanks, folks! I just LOVE having niggling thoughts prevent me from enjoying something otherwise beautiful to me.

  • Minnow

    Go see the film. The artists want you to see the film. Just know that Sylvain’s role was more “the story and the glory” so to speak.

  • aldorf

    Sylvain Chomet sets out a highly unusual and unrealistic interpretation of both Jaques Tati’s original script and the validity of how he acquired it. A far more compelling account can be found here:

    This account further underlines the bland hypocracy Sylain Chomet has persisted to peddle with his grotesquely absurd, mawkish sentimental drivel of ‘being in love with a city’. Something which, whilst being able to dedicate an entire film to, he is paradoxically unable to articulate in anything other than the most hackneyed and insincere ferms:

    “It’s difficult to explain what happens when you fall in love with a city,” Chomet tells me in a thick Parisian accent. “It’s like when you meet a person and feel you have known them all your life”.

    This merely serves to elevate the highly emotive and revealing account provided both eloquently and succinctly by Richard Mcdonald in his heart-rending tribute to his own mother; Helga Marie-Jeanne Schiel, the eldest daughter of Jaques Tati, a lady who is both alive and well and living in the North East of England to this day. Is it not more likely, as Richard Mcdonald concisely points out that the l’Illusionniste is an apology from Tati, not infact to his youngest daughter (Sophie), but to his eldest, estranged daughter (Helga), whom he abandoned in her youth and carried the shame of of doing so to his dying day.

    Why then is Chomet publicly persisting to sidestep this inescapable and independently verified truth (by Tati’s own Biographer infact), despite having met Richard Mcdonald, inviting him to his studio?

    Could the answer not lie somewhere between the smudged lines of the varying accounts Chomet has provided as to how he actually came into recievership of this script, and the sometimes vague and crucially differing versions he has put forward:

    “Tati had this feeling that he had missed something essential. It’s an extremely emotional story, so personal that I think he was afraid to make it himself. Really, she gave me a precious gift and sadly Sophie Tatischeff died from lung cancer – like her father – before I could thank her for letting me have the script.”


    ‘I’m a big fan of Tati,’ Chomet says, ‘and Sophie thought there were a lot of common points between my animation style and her father’s universe. Unfortunately, she died before I had a chance to meet her, but when I went to Cannes [for Belleville’s world premiere] I read the script she had passed on to me through her will.

    Surely the opertunity to ‘thank’ Sophie Tatischeff would have long since passed if, as Chomet clearly states, he was bequeathed the script in her will, thus leading this observer firstly to wonder if Chomet can actually provide the will? And secondly – if the ‘will’ version he has suggested is actually true. Assuming it is, and having met and invited Richard Mcdonald to his Edinburgh studio, did Chomet then begin to realise there may be inheritance issues regarding the script and therefore distanced himself from the surviving memebers of Jaques Tati’s family, making no allusion to them, and more importantly Tati’s eldest daughter, Helga, in any subsequant press releases. Could it be be that it somehow suits Chomet for them not to exist?

    So the precise reason Chomet has wilfully chosen to misinterpret and pervert the true nature of Tati’s original script, thus diluting and undermining its validity, is unclear. But in so doing, preposterously in this observers opinion, by attempting to re-write the personal details of a private life, weaving in similes that flimsily echo the personal journey that he (Chomet) has shared with his own daughter throughout the creative process merely serves to provide a smokescreen, a cheap conjurer’s trick, neatly drawing attention away from what lies at the central core of the l’Illusionniste; a far deeper, intrinsically more compelling story that Chomet has stubbornly, and for whatever reason, completely failed to grasp. And now, all these years on, it seems somehow perverse and downright degradeing that a young woman, abandoned in youth and now again in her dotage is cast further aside, but not just by her father (as if this is not bad enough), but by the slanted agenda’s of induviduals and estates who seek to embroider the separate strands of their own lives into the Jaques Tati myth at the expense of those biologically tied:

  • kevin

    A lovely looking film, yet, having seen it the story falls somehow flat. Why did Chomet choose not to consult the surviving members of Tati’s family for a more rounded viewpoint?

    It would seem criminal really not to have done that given its seven years of production. Very remiss, and ultimately a poorer film because of it.

    However – take nothing away from the artists who have visually provided a stunner, despite the hand at the tiller delivering a stinker!

  • chris

    hi – i’ve searched all over the internet for interviews with sylvan chomet for any sign of any response to the the startleing revelations by this richard mcdonald fella, and as yet haven’t found anything?

    does anybody know if there might be a reason for this? i notice quite a lot of the artists on the film seem to post here (ace work by the way peeps!!). perhaps they know, or have any thoughts?

    if anything, interviews by sylvan chomet about the film seem very thin on the ground anyway. why has the fanfare been muted? can anybody direct me to any links?

    thanks in advance – chris

  • Amanda J

    It seems to me this film could just be a glorified postcard from Edinburgh. It looks delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I found myself drifting off through the lack of a storyline and just keeping an eye out for the landmarks.

  • Soreane

    On home soil the first week of The Illusionist release in France has seen it enter the box office chart a lowly number 8 generating little over $600,000 in seats compared to the number one movie of the week the critically slammed A Team which has done $3,200,000 worth of business.

    It appears even in it home territory it has only been able to gain minimal exposure on just 84 screens.

  • exit stage left

    blimey…i wonder how much production costs were?

    did they get any funding?

  • Paul D

    I am only speculating here because I’ve got no experience with distribution but a limited release for art house films is normal. The number you’ve over looked is that The Illusionist brought in $7,144 per screen. – nearly $2000 more per screen than A Team. The screenings are selling out. If Pathe chose to release first weekend on only 84 screens then I’ll say they’d have to be happy with the enormous success at each of those screenings.

  • Trev

    The number that can’t be questioned is that The Illusionist only attracted 18 percent of the audience that went to see the A Team.

    To put The Illusionist poor performance into perspective in its first week Disney’s Princess and the Frog did $7,895,762 worth of business in France in its first week of release last January. That’s 13 times the audience number that The Illusionist attracted.

    How to Train your Dragon brought $4,605,678 worth of audience to a cinema in France in its first week.

    Can you imagine how these figures are going to look compared to Toy Story 3. It’s very hard to disagree with the paying audience.

    The reason Pathe would have only put it on 84 screens was because it would have known it could never fill 700 theatres.

  • Trev

    Nearly forgot, Princess and the Frog did $11,436 per screen on its release in France.

  • Minnow

    You are comparing apples with oranges. Of course films like Toy Story, and the wonderful, How to Train Your Dragon, are going to gain a wider audience – they are aimed at children and so you have the adult ticket plus however many children they bring along.
    The Illusionist is in a whole other category, as was Triplettes. They are certainly not children’s films. If box office numbers are your criteria for success, then compare with other art house, small release films.

  • Paul D

    You’re not comparing apples to apples. Frog Princess had a production budget of over $100 million and a P & A budget north of $50 million for North America alone. Dragon had a production budget of $160 million and a huge P & A budget. Each debuted on hundreds of screens.

    The Illusionist will not make anywhere close to the box office of these other films. There is a much smaller audience for this type of movie (nobody is going to drag the kiddies to The Illusionist on a Saturday) and that was reflected in the much smaller production budget (less than 15% of How to Train Your Dragon.)

    Triplettes grossed around 14 million worldwide and that was enough to be considered a success. I imagine The Illusionist will have the same audience and the same numbers.

    Whatever your opinion of the movie or of the filmmaker I hope that there are more opportunities for animators to make movies with modest budgets and modest expectations at the box office. They seem to be the most interesting.

  • Trev

    Yes but before The Illusionists release we were told that it was the most expensive animation production ever made in Europe. The most expensive, with the biggest 2d animation team in the world. Do claims like that not suggest that the intentions are to compete at the box office?

  • Trev

    Put another way Princess and the Frog returned 8% of its production cost in it first weeks release in France where as the Illusionist only managed 4% in what is likely to be its largest market.

  • Paul D

    This is silly.

    The film is worth seeing. Go see it.

  • What does it matter anyway? Neither one of you or me is even going to see a single cent of it, no matter how much it makes at the boxoffice, so stop fighting over it.
    Go see it! If you like it, good! If not, at least you’ve been watching some beautiful animation. Take care guys!


  • Harriet

    Paul, thanks belatedly for the kind remarks. Hope you too are well recovered!
    Thought I’d share the following comment from the Guardian review of The Illusionist (
    “In a few deft strokes, Chomet summons up a bygone age of steam trains and antique Citroëns…”
    My guess at the number of deft strokes actually required to make this film is approx. 900 billion trillion, but hey, they gave it five stars :-)

  • The comb

    Where is Chomet?

    He’s not in the Rothbury area by any chance? Mr Moat appears to have better communication skills and he doesn’t have a film studio backing him! From where I’m standing Moat is an innocent compared to this guy.

    Whoever drew the guy who wins the girls heart is entitled to a cold a cold drink from me. Genuinely fantastic!

    Love the animation. Feel pity for the director,and his associates.

  • Soreane

    After just 2 weeks The Illusionniste is out of the French box office top 15 movies. Shrek Forever After on the other hand stamps straight into the number one spot with $11,470,044 worth of sales. Guessing fraudulence does have a price. You only need $4,632 worth of seats to make the top 15, ouch!

  • The comb

    Apparently, Paul Gascoigne is on his way to Provance, with some pencils, paper, an idea for a story and a mobile phone.

    Paul, if you read this don’t do it. Your a well intentioned bloke with virtue and could ruin your reputation associating yourself with such low life.

  • chomet

    hmm…having seen this film, visually appealing as it is, i can understand why it flopped in france (the home of jaques tati). probably because, unlike any of tati’s film’s, there is absolutely no storyline to this effort.

    to be honest, unless your from edinburgh, theres absolutely no reason to see this film, and even then it would be just like watching sex in the city because you live in new york – the one thing they in common is NO STORYLINE.

    shit film.