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

The Illusionist trailer

The intertitles are in Russian, but we have to post it: the first full trailer for Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist.

(Thanks, David Nethery and Carlo Guillot)

  • rhinotonight

    i don’t even know what to say.


  • TheGunheart

    We don’t get to see much besides him sitting in various modes of transportation, but my god! This film is gorgeous!

    One thing that stuck out the most to me are the shadows on his back as he takes a bow. Very rarely in 2D animation do I see that much attention given to the lighting and shadow.

  • greg m.

    There’s no denying it’s beauty!

  • Jay Sabicer

    First impressions? I’m intrigued. The character designs are nowhere near the extreme goofiness (in a good way) as Belleville was, but not only do they’re animated well, they FLOW! This looks very lush and vibrant and just overflows with atmosphere. I hope there’s an excellent story to go along with the imagery (and a US distributor that will step up to show it here in the states). I’m very interested on what’s to come.

  • peu

    try to get a more annoying host next time. i hope someone gets this on youtube soon

  • Batchelor

    Looks amazing, lovely animation and some beautiful backgrounds in this trailer. I can’t wait to see it.

  • matt

    Really excited for this. Despite a few problems in the last act I loved Triplettes to bits, and especially that someone broke the stylised (not just Disney) 2d mold and had character design that was just true caricature.

    This looks beautiful – I had no idea that the main character was Tati – I guess the title refers to him too, maybe it’s a love letter to him? Even down to the Hulot thing of the hands on the back. Fantastic!

    And the bow at the end is beautiful. I hope that’s just the note of subtle, bittersweet humour the whole thing contains…

  • This looks so incredible, I’m really excited to see this!

  • J

    So far so good, I hope this lives up to all the positive reviews it got from the Berlin film festival.
    As much as I loved specific things about Triplets of Bellville (like the character design of those two bad guys who appeared as one big block when stood next to each other), I kinda found the overall a really boring experience.

  • mrscriblam

    i just saw triplets of belleville yesterday and now im twice as excited for this

  • Simply breathtaking. I’m really looking forward to this one.

  • Gobo

    I’d heard the film was deeply Scottish, but wow! I didn’t realize how much. It’s gorgeous.

  • Wally

    Does anyabody know what the name of the piece of pianomusic is that starts at 2:08?

  • Kai

    What, no 3D? Just kidding. What a wonderful film, if it lives up to its trailer. Love the backgrounds, and the sense of melancholy.

  • tahrey

    Wow. This is oldschool in the most lovely of all possible ways, just using a bit of the modern to up the ante (clean colour-fills, the mirroring effects). Exceptional work.

    I just hope the actual story and so forth is more interesting & makes a bit more sense than Belleville did – I found it wonderful to look at, in terms of a 90 minute long art installation, but on the whole a deeply disappointing and impenetrable movie. Which is exactly the feel I get from this, but at the moment that’s just as likely to be that all the explanatory text is in Cyrillic which I can barely decipher… and is Russian anyway, which I know about five words of.

  • Shawn Jackson

    Fluid. Liquid. Looks like a patient film, which would be a nice change of pace. Looking forward to experiencing it.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • oh this will be outstanding! I know it! can’t wait to see it :)

  • steppo

    Wow! I love the the Hulot feeling it has. If it’s anywhere near as great as Triplets I’m superman excited.

  • Carl

    I’m not seeing it. Is there another link?

  • I’ve got to stop watching this over and over, and get back to work.

  • Scarabim

    “The Britoons”. Hehheh. This looks awesome.

  • Carl – For you and anyone having a problem seeing the trailer on our site, try watching it on this Russian site: http://www.afisha.ru/movie/trailer/192512/

  • I saw this translation of the trailer title cards on Victor Ens’ blog , by “Niffiwan” , who sometimes comments here , too. (Victor Ens was a lead animator on the film) —

    Translation of the text:

    In life, there are just a few things that are worth doing.

    But sometimes the world is not ready to receive

    that, which we are able to offer it.

    This story tells of the journey of one man

    which enabled him to keep his magical gift

    and to rediscover for himself

    what is worth doing for him in life.

    From the director of that masterpiece of European animation

    “The Triplets of Belleville”, Sylvain Chomet.

    Based on the screenplay of the legendary Jacques Tati.

    “The Illusionist”

  • one of my colleagues in cartoon saloon saw 15 minutes of this at cartoon movie in lyon this year.

    he called me to say the bar has been significantly raised for european animation.
    a friend who worked on it said its really beautiful too.

    i’m really really looking forward to seeing it and i hope it shows in ireland on the big screen – at least in dublin.
    i had to go to paris to see triplettes in a cinema.

  • Love it. It just looks so beautiful and I’m really interested in the magician character already. Thanks for the translation by the way David!

  • Shecky
  • Simon K

    In life, there are just a few things that are worth doing.
    But sometimes the world is not ready to receive
    that, which we are able to offer it.

    Is that the correct translation? Bit pompous, reads as if it was a tag line from a Star Wars prequel :-P

  • JMatte

    Beautiful atmosphere, great subtle character animation on the magician. It is perhaps the #1 movie I am most looking forward to this year (may it be distributed in North America!).
    It seems to have a nice, tranquil, poetic pace rather than the usual action-action-action fare. That is a definite selling point to me.

    Thank you also David for the translation.

  • Jim

    Wally: It sounds like Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

    And, what a gorgeous trailer. It’s really nice to see a movie trailer that doesn’t feel the need to give away every plot point in a two-minute time span.

  • North by Eastwest

    It is a moving illustration in the best possible sense. You can’t buy taste and that’s what sets Chomet’s pictures apart. Will it sell tickets in America? Not unless they market it as a video game with bloody drive-bys and exploding liquor stores and retitle it “The Illusionist Part 2: The Revenge”

  • Sorry Pixar, but THAT’s how you emotionally manipulate audiences.

  • …and dub it with the voice overs of Hannah Montana and Patrick Warburton.

  • Mark

    I saw this film a few weeks ago. It’s nice, but do NOT get your hopes up. It’s a worthy follow up to Bellville, but lacks in emotional punch. It’s also a bit more disjointed than Bellville. A lot of the animation is very nice, as is the general tone of the film. Hopefully it’ll find a U.S. distributor.

  • Clement

    Even though it’s French it looks like Japanese animation to me. I also love Jacques Tati and I’m sorry but this trailer doesn’t look anything like Tati, not the same style, jokes or original acting Tati had. This film looks pretentious. They just could replace the main character with a Japanese girl and it would still be the same film.

  • JMatte

    Japanese animation? Really? I’m curious to know which japanese animated film you’re thinking of that makes you do that comparison because I’m not seeing it. I must be blind.
    I must be double blind because I don’t see anything pretentious in it either. Maybe because you’re a Tati fan, you manage to judge this movie on another level. I do like Tati, but I must claim not having seen that many of his films and the last one was yeeeeaaaarrrrs ago. Time to refresh the memory.
    I’m also imagining replacing the main character with a young Japanese girl, and let me tell you I’m seeing a very different film, ha ha!

  • What a shame that a company like Disney with all their incredible resources cannot come close to something like this.

  • Wally

    Thank you Jim!


  • Hal

    @Clement and JMatte – if anything, it looks a bit like a Miyazaki or Satoshi Kon film, and perhaps the Anime reference is to the emphasis on backgrounds and atmosphere. Regardless, I think it looks fantastic, but the overly dramatic music seems to jibe against the Tati-esque flavor and low key performances of the characters. I liked the opening with the Brit-pop offscreen vs. his prep for the show A LOT and think that is indicative of the movie. Music a bit less over the top and more deadpan will help to sell it here. Funny what a music cue can do.

  • JMatte

    That’s what I was wondering: reminescent of japanese animation because of the emphasis on backgrounds and atmosphere, or if it was something in the animation of the character (and if it is a comparison with Miyazaki or Satoshi Kon’s work, then it is a compliment!).

  • whoiseyevan

    Vive Jacques Tati! I can’t wait for this film to be released. Here’s hoping it comes with a M. Hulot-esque film score.

  • Steve Gattuso

    #1 film on my list this year. Glorious work.

  • Paul N

    Man – some people just can’t resist venting their biases at every opportunity, can they?

    “American audiences suck”
    “Pixar sucks”
    “Disney dubs suck”

    How about just commenting on what we saw instead? Save your venting for when it’s appropriate.

    Oh, and the trailer looks great – looking forward to the film…

  • Manu Roig

    Please let this be a good story. The visuals are so strong.

    And yes, the emphasis on backgrounds, colours and mood does give it a quality often only found in Japanese animations. Interestingly, Japanese animations often over-promise and under deliver when it comes to depth in the storytelling, just like Chomet.

  • This is the cartoon that I want most to see in a big theatre this year. Cannot wait.

  • I wish the trailer was more ‘grabbing’ — as far as trailers go this one was really boring. Otherwise, spectacular animation, very human movements, and the designs are solid. Love it.

  • The animation looks really great, but I wonder why they went without any close-ups. It feels like the character is being set up as an “everyman”, since the camera stays so far away from his face.

  • wgan

    the trailer shows some best hand drawn animation i’ve ever seen to date which is both technically and aesthetically well crafted in a nearly perfect way, also, a good story seems to be attached to this wonderful piece.

  • Clement

    I was refering to Japanese animation because of the background atmosphere but also the way character’s movements are decomposed when they move : they move fast, then stop, then move fast again, then slow down. Instead of doing the whole movement smoothly. And also the way animation is interpolated accordingly, it jumps from slow to fast or from fast to slow. It’s more obvious in the interview than in the trailer though.

  • Lowdown

    Having just been wowed by 3D Imax presented trailers for How to train your Dragon, Shrek Forever After and TS3 it has to be said that as Cinema by its essence is a progressive art form Chomet like his portrayal of Tati’s Illusionist is now very much a relic of the past unable to respond to the progression of the age in which he lives.

    Rather sad that Tati the great observer of his own time and very much a progressive film maker should be remembered in a manner that does not reflect his great originality.

  • MadRat

    That was… really beautiful. I’m nearly speechless. I sure hope it gets wide distribution because it looks like an Oscar short stretched out to feature length: in other words The Illusionist looks like 2010’s first Best Animated Feature.

  • JK


    That it looks Japanese might have something to do with large sections having been made by the same Korean Studios that also work on many a Japanese production.

  • S

    Wow! You seem to be certain that large section was made in Korean studios. Well let me correct you ,Only some inbetweening was done at the Korean studio towards the end of the production. All the animation was done in Europe. Mostly in Edinburgh and some in Paris. I think anything that is not Disney animation looks like Japanese animation to some of the people out there.

  • JK


    Have you not forgot studios in London and Benelux who also worked on the project?

  • @Lowdown:

    I think you will find that your opinion will not be very popular with many people…

    In fact, there are a number of false assumptions in your comment. But I will just mention one: Tati was not a “progressive filmmaker” – in fact, his films as well as his characters were nostalgic, and modernity was more often than not the source of humour. Perhaps his technique seemed “progressive” to your eyes because he went back to principles that were so forgotten that it seemed as if he was discovering them. As his career progressed, Tati went further and further in the direction of avoiding close-ups, camera-movements, and meticulously planning every movement of every character on screen. Is this not a bringing of the aesthetics and techniques of the old-fashioned art of theatre to film?

  • Clement

    I didn’t know a Korean studio had worked on the film, I guess it explains a lot.

    @S : Just because this is not Disney doesn’t mean animators aren’t heavily influenced by Japanese animation. There’s one scene in the interview that looks 100% Japanese between 1:24 and 1:30 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr7AciJ4gv4 ).
    I hope there aren’t too many scenes that scream Asian in the film because that’s the kind of scenes that can ruin the style of animation.

  • A


    I have no idea where you get your informatoion and I would like to give you a little insider info as you seem to need clarification badly. Less than 5% of the work was done in Korea, consisting of mainly inbetweening and a small amount of clean up. A small amount of the animation was done by the London studio you mention, which was a unit of Django Films Ltd… the Scottish production company.

    No work has been done in Benelux as you mention… try checking your sources before you are so certain about things.

    Thank you to everyone who seems to like the film, or at least looks forward to seeing it. Everyone worked incredibly hard to get this completed to such a high visual standard and the crew deserves every nice thing anyone says.

  • Mira

    Interesting Tati facts 1) He made the 1st ever French Film in Colour, Jour de Fete 2) His experiments in sound were totally revolutionary 3) Both Truffaut and Goddard acknowledged Tati’s independent movies as the catalyst that give birth to the French New Wave 4) He was not anti modern as is wrongly assumed, he was making weary comment about a branch of modernity that had no connection to the past 5) Playtime is largely recognised as a modern movie far beyond its time 6) He inspired some of the greatest comics of all time that came after him.

    Hulot was not a nostalgic character he represented a normal man of his time whose human qualities coexisted uneasily with the increasingly mechanical world around him. Tati’s movies rarely, if ever, look backwards nostalgically to a bygone era but are glorious observations of their time.

  • L Webbe

    Japanese animation……. Don’t be fooled, look at the line quality between The Illusionists city of Edinburgh compared to for example the quality Otomo’s, London from Steam Boy. Both draw upon a similar subject matter for their respective locations but the detail present in Otomo’s work is phenomenal compared to Chomet’s. Look at this high resolution shot of Edinburgh, the ink work is very scruffy and although passable on a small screen it could well look awful once blown up to large screen cinema projection especially for an audience spoiled on precise crisp digital presentations.


  • The trailer for The Illusionist is a true mini-movie in itself. The best kind of trailer perhaps.

  • Rooniman

    This looks incredibly interesting. Couldn’t what was going on, but who cares. It looks gorgous.

  • The trailer has been removed by order of Pathe Pictures. I wonder why.

    Though you can still find a nice-quality version of it in certain places… maybe you won’t even have to look far…

  • Sam

    Considering this movie is supposed to be released next month Pathe’s publicity of it seems extraordinarily cagey.

  • John

    Hmm – I wouldn’t pay too much attention to what the Chomets say… He was twice reprimanded by Universal for misapporopration of funds – he was spending the Desperaux budget on his own 2D film L’Illusioniste – before Universal had enough and booted him off the project. Naturally he’s going to be spinning a different story about WHY he wanted to leave the project – never mind the fact he was fired from it.

    The shameful neglect he has shown to the original Tati script once again show’s he is to be avoided by anyone not wanting to be taken advantage of.