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CGIFeature Film

Mexican Studio Anima Releases ‘Wicked Flying Monkeys’ Trailer (Exclusive)

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Mexican animation firm Ánima Estudios, producer of the hit 2011 Mexican film Top Cat: The Movie, has released a trailer for its next feature Guardianes de Oz (retitled Wicked Flying Monkeys for English audiences). The film is set to premiere in Mexico on April 10, 2015. It is the studio’s eleventh feature since launching in 2002, but notable as their first produced with computer animation.

Watch the Spanish trailer below:

Directed by Alberto Mar (Top Cat: The Movie), the film has an original story by Mexico-born director Jorge Gutierrez, who helmed the recent Reel FX feature The Book of Life. Veteran American television writers Doug Langdale and Evan Gore are credited for the final script along with Gutierrez.

Taking place in L. Frank Baum’s Oz universe, the film follows Ozzy, a young flying monkey who rebels against his boss, the wicked witch Evilene, and reaches out to the “Guardians of Oz”—the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tinman—who have been put under a spell by the witch.

“We believe the ideal medium for this ambitious story was the use of 3D, hence the effort to use this technique for the first time in one of our movies,” said José Carlos García Letona, vice-president of Ánima, in a press release. “The experience has been very satisfying and we want to repeat it for our next project.” The studio is currently working on a CG Top Cat feature.

Ánima co-produced the animation with Indian animation studio Discreet Art Productions. Gutierrez designed the characters with his creative partner and wife Sandra Equihua, with whom he also co-created the Nickelodeon TV series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. “Working with the amazing Mexican artists at Ánima studios was a blast!” Gutierrez told Cartoon Brew. “This film is yet another encouraging sign of the endless talent currently brewing in my beloved Mexico.”

(Thanks, Christian Bermejo)

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  • Martz

    looks below the average, you cant make this movies when you have higher standards in the industry

    • Pepe Avalos

      you are right sir!

      Anima Studios don´t have a professional quality to make animated movies

      • Yaro

        Adding insult to injury that we can’t get Song of the Sea or the Dam Keeper so easily in México.

    • Visually, model/render quality, or story? The visuals look just fine to me, considering they’re on a lower budget than say, Pixar. I like the designs, and the animation certainly wasn’t bad. Story wise… I don’t speak Spanish, but yeah. I could see where you would be coming from on that.

    • McManaman

      But you have to consider this was done by a Mexican studio in an industry that is still trying to grow (and struggling to do so) and with a budget incredibly lower than your average (or even low-cost) american productions. Give it a chance, it might actually be fun.

    • Iker

      ‘You cannot learn to play guitar when there are bands making millions out there’, ‘Don’t bother to draw anything because you’ll never be as good as to be in a museum’, etc.

      4.5 million dollars!!! That’s the cost of that movie!!! And you are mistaking ‘any big studio animated movie’ for ‘average’. May I remind you spending $100 million in a movie is everything but average…

  • J.S

    Long live Jorge Gutierrez!

  • jhalpernkitcat

    Gotta love that bunny tiger though!

  • Googamp32

    I REALLY hope that the film adaptation of “Wicked” comes to theaters soon so we can put an end to all these cheap Oz cash-ins. “Oz the great and powerful” was okay, “Legends of Oz: Dorthy’s Return” didn’t need to exist, and the less said about that direct-to-home video “Tom and Jerry” movie based on the original film, the better.

  • Nicholas Walstrom

    I know it’s a pedantic distinction to point out that this isn’t really “their first produced with computer animation”, but this site is dedicated specifically to animation so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to wish you’d put it more accurately as their first movie made all in 3D CGI, or something to that effect…

  • Marc Hendry

    what’s going on with all these “Oz”-inspired movies in the past few years?

  • Three thoughts:

    1) Guardians of Oz would’ve been a much better English title than “Wicked Flying Monkeys”. I mean, really? I’m not really sure what that’s supposed to mean. (This also leads me to suspect the dub will be sub-par.)

    2) We FINALLY have an OZ movie that isn’t visually robbing from the MGM film. (We’re all looking at you, Return to Oz.) Jorge Gutierrez’s hand is pretty strong all over this, design wise, so that makes me happy.

    and most importantly…

    3) Could we PLEASE have a film actually based off of one of the other books? Come on, folks, it’s public domain. Is it really that hard?

    • I’d love a Jack Pumpkinhead and Patchwork doll film.

  • Caleb

    Evilene? They named the witch after her incarnation in The Wiz…and right after NBC announced they were remaking The Wiz! I can finally die happy. I don’t know why I am obsessed with that movie, but I aint stopping anytime soon.

    It’s so adorable to see classic characters in Gutierrez’s style, both in character design and style of storytelling. The main issue I have is L. Frank Baum already wrote multiple sequels that could have been adapted if we needed to produce a sequel to the classic Oz story. If we needed a hero/heroine, Tip/Ozma (and I do mean Tip/Ozma) was already available.

  • Ravlic

    I love Gutierrez’s designs here. Unfortunately they’re the only thing that stands out.
    And really, Oz is just such an overused story already.

  • Megan

    I think that the character designs are really appealing, the premise seems fun and inventive, but the animation is quite poor. (The lip-syncing is very bad as well.) It’s really too bad they had to outsource it.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    That Wicked Witch of the West is far more sexier than Magaret Hamilton ever was,my pretties.

  • AmidAmidi

    Did you read the article? Here it is again: “Ánima co-produced the animation with Indian animation studio Discreet Art Productions.”

    • brandon

      Oh. I missed that.

      Guess the U.S. isn’t the only country to outsource production (or at least engage in co-production work with other countries).

      Thanks for pointing that out.

  • Kusanagi

    It’s too bad that the surface texture software used in “3D CGI” films ends up making them look like they were all made by one studio, regardless of the differences in character designs.

    The homogenizing effect of the texturing software is making CGI films boring to look at.

    • GW

      I found a CG animated short with a more painterly texturing style. It’s hard to tell how much is the surfaces and how much is the general look but I suspect you’d like to see it.

      http://vimeo.com/114134370

  • Except nobody’s done anything with any of the other OZ books L. Frank Baum wrote. Which puzzles me.

    • BatmanJesus

      That’s just it; they’re public domain. The studio can use the base characters for audience pull, but they want to create their own additional characters and plots so they can own them.

  • brandon

    Yes, I know XD