“The Last Flight of the Champion” Will Open in US Theaters on Saturday

The Last Flight of the Champion hasn’t been on my radar at all, but it would appear to be an independent Amercian CGI theatrical feature. The film will debut this Saturday in fifteen theaters around the United States. Champion was directed by E. Thomas Ewing and produced by Houston, Texas-based Omnipulse Entertainment. The synopsis:

Neddie Nerfhoffer has a dream. With his society embroiled in an intergalactic war with a ruthless dictator Neddie just wants to do his part. After finding an ancient warship long forgotten, Neddie forms a crew of his childhood friends and takes to the stars intent on bringing the Warlord General Disdain to justice.

I’m impressed that the makers of the film believed strongly enough in their concept to not only produce an entire feature, but to also create a slick film website with online games and self-distribute the film theatrically. For more information, visit LastFlightoftheChampion.com.

(h/t, Yoram Dass Benz, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook group)


  • Jonah Sidhom

    That shot at 1:57…. this will the ‘The Shining’ of animation.

  • elliot Lobell

    that looks unbearable.

  • http://deaniac.deviantart.com/ Deaniac

    Still looks leagues better than Foodfight.

  • samjoe

    The next big children’s animation movie, at” RedBox”.

  • Toonio

    That was some great machinima.

    • Funkybat

      I’ve seen better.

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    Foodfight version 2.0?

  • Hal J.

    Wow…it’s going to opening in 15 (!) theaters nationwide!

    Tremble, Disney and Dreamworks!

  • Dana B

    If they no do barrel roll joke from that rabbit, I’m gonna be very disappointed.

    • Funkybat

      Hehehe…. I was just about to say, this movie looks like what would happen if they made “Starfox” into an animated feature, but did it in 1996 back when the game was new.

      I am all for indie filmmaking, but I’ve seen a lot better 3D animation from student projects. Granted, those didn’t have to be feature-length, but this level of work just isn’t going to fly commercially in 2013. The “wow” factor of 3D was enough to make something passably animated interesting to mid-90s audiences, but films like this really have no business being made in the second decade of the 21st century unless they are being done as an ironic joke. “Sir Billi” and “Koochie Koochie Hota Hai” actually look good by comparison, and that’s saying something.

  • George Comerci

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, "Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted."]

  • Bart

    Ignoring the poor quality of the movie, I should just comment how unfairly a lot of the animators who worked at Omnipulse in Houston were treated years ago. Mr. Ewing found it suitable to have all of his employees work an extra two weeks after their last paycheck and then laid them all off at once, not paying anyone for their last two weeks. It is obviously not the worst transgression in the world of animation, but says something about his honesty.

  • tjarmstrong

    Looking at the production company’s website, they seem to have 5 projects in some stage of development and are managing to release this theatrically themselves. I’m certainly not their demographic, nor is anyone on this site, but it is certainly commendable that they’ve at least been able to get the ball rolling this far, and in the USA on top of that. I applaud their efforts and my only gripe is that I wish we had more indie studios doing that here.

  • Greg Manwaring

    Can you imagine if this succeeds??

  • mick

    Predictable quality gripes aside, their other film ‘Simon Abbot’s Predicament escape’ sports the best title for a film I have encountered in a long while. You cannot accidentally arrive at such clashing syllables. It’s sheer cumbersome nature has me joyfully intrigued. ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers stone’ seems effortlessly smooth by comparison to ‘Simon abbot’s predicament escape’ (it’s even difficult to type) Just try and picture a child asking to go see that. I am totally sincere with my praise for that mad title

  • Mike Scott

    Reminds me of Pixar’s 1984 short ‘Andre & Wally B’. Best of luck to them, props for believing in their own work.

  • Marco_Sensei

    Every time I see some of those indie CG movies of late, I can’t help remembering Jeff Lew’s Killer Bean movie… and how it was great work compared to those… those… I don’t know how to call those things… T_T

    Give me some Coffee Bean Gunfight anytime ! ^_^

  • mick

    You see there is the very point

    ‘My friends and I have done better looking things in our spare time and we’ve never even shown them to people’

    Congratulations, how’s that working out for you? Not at all I imagine. It’s hardly boast worthy is it? These lads may fall short in what the nay sayers consider good enough but they have a film complete and ready to show in the theatres. It seems awfully unjust for someone who doesn’t to pour scorn on those that do. There is a lesson here for us all and it is that ANYONE can bang out a movie given the good old fashioned formula of working at it

    • Animator606432

      First off, it’s pretty presumptuous for you to assume that the short took me “nowhere”. I wasn’t boasting, I was making a point. I can send you link’s to other people’s work that look better than this. Also, just because I criticize a bad looking film doesn’t mean i’m “pouring scorn” on to the film. I just can’t imagine somebody spending their hard earned money on something that looks this badly. If this was going direct to dvd or television, fine. But they expect this to play on large screen and for people to pay almost $10 per ticket.

      Also, there are FAR, FAR better looking films that prove the very point you’ve made.

      • Ant G

        You do realize you’re behaving like a keyboard warrior right now? They may not be as amazing as you claim to be while sitting nicely on your high horse, but instead of wasting time badmouthing other artists on the internet, they went out there and made and published their own feature film. So go on and boast about the “better” shorts you make that no one heard of.

        • Jason Cezar Duncan

          “they went out there and made and published their own feature film.” Yes, so did the people who made Food Fight and Planes and similar small time companies like Video Brinquedo and Sparkplug entertainment. I don’t see them getting any mercy. Just because you have the money and resources to make a full length CGI film does not mean you made a good film. This is Texas, same place Barney The Dinosaur originated from. That was the butt of so many “dumb” jokes, yet still managed to go for 20 years because it was a purple dinosaur spouting some exploitable generic feel good kiddie messages that sold to both 3 year olds and “haters” alike. They key word is SOLD. I know it’s the also the key word to executives in California, and lots of crap does get made there too, but generally the things we find worthwhile come from artists where selling things, although important, is not their sole priority.

        • Animator606432

          Who am I bad mouthing? I never insulted anyone who worked on the film. If someone who worked on the film asked me my opinion off it, I would say the exact same thing. I’m on no “High Horse”, it’s called giving an opinion. If you wanna disagree that’s fine, but don’t you dare assume anything about me. You have no idea, who I am or what I may have done with my time. For all you know, I could have worked on this very film. It’s a bad looking film, no matter what anyone says.

          Also, I don’t understand why people assume that because I mention that my personal shorts look better that i’m somehow boasting. If I wanted to boast, I would name them or post them. I’m not the perfect animator, I still have a lot to learn. Hell, i’m still in school. However, I know what quality is and I know what it isn’t. And this film isn’t it. If feel I personally attacked anyone who worked on it, well that’s your problem.

  • Joshua Marchant

    So am I going to have to be the one to bring up the amazingly blatant Star Wars plot?

  • Ant G

    It’s not why you make a movie that matters, it’s how you make it. Every business oriented artist is in it for the money by technicality, we just cover our interest in profit with politically-correct phrases like “making a living”. We still have lives as human beings, not just art-making machines that would do that much hard labour for free, we want to buy our kids nice things. So can we focus on how they came about making the movie and its many shortcomings? Please let’s drop the whole moral act of judging someone’s passion for their art based on why they are making it, we all want/need to “make a living”

  • smoothoperator350

    This gave me nostaligia for the old PS1 days, wait this is a movie?

  • Animator606432

    What lesson though? That you can put the minimal amount of effort forth and still charge top dollar for it? That anyone can make a film and put it out there? Yes, independent studios, animation and live action, have been around forever. This is nothing new.

    • Guest

      Putting a movie out there = “minimal effort” Now. Internet warriors on full strike. Students bragging how better they are than the crap that’s out there is nothing new either. It’s all talk and the goal at the end is just to work for big studio to pay your huge student debt. God forbid some people who aren’t as remarkable by your standards decide to publish their own movie, lets hate them!

      • Animator606432

        “Internet Warrior”? As if you have brass balls. You don’t seem to understand the differences between hate and criticism. I’m not about to explain the difference to someone who is too old to act so ignorant. First off, I already explained why I wasn’t bragging. So i’m done with that. Second, you have know idea what my standards are. Maybe yours are too low. Also, stop attempting to assume things about me. It just makes you look bad. I’m not going to argue with a troll who has nothing better to do.

    • mick

      you-there has GOT to be some better quality out there

      you- My friends and I have done better looking things in our spare time

      you-anyone can make a film and put it out there? Yes

      Seems so simple when you explain it to yourself

  • Ant G

    Profit being the sole intention of an artist is always an accusatory snide remark and rarely something that can be easily proven, so what examples are you asking me to fetch you? A more common example is profit can be often a motivator to create something great in order to sustain oneself. Many award winning screenwriters were once writers who knew there was more money to be made in that industry. JK Rowling lived in poverty before Harry Potter, and suggesting that she went for a pen name to pass off as male, and had a male character with a story formula similar to Star Wars (google it), are obvious signifiers that she’s conscious of marketing her book to a broader audience than she what she would be limited to as an unknown female writer. And I’m not pointing this out not in an accusatory way, because she was still able to create a great story that moved people worldwide. Like I said, It’s not why you do something, it’s how you do it, and those who are skilled can make a great project regardless if they aim to ” make a living” off of it or not. What you are saying is just the art school mentality of romanticizing over the bohemian artist lifestyle. You can do something for both the love for it and so it sustains you financially.

  • Eric Graf

    I went and saw this. It is HORRIBLE. The trailer makes it look considerably better than it actually is! Nearly all the scenes they spent any money on are in it.

    The wretched quality of the animation is the least of its problems. They clearly put no thought whatsoever into having the plot make at least a modicum of sense. The script is plodding and talky, the characters are all annoying and devoid of personality, the suspense is nonexistent, the voice-acting is wretched (especially the accents), the space battles are an indecipherable blur of spaceships and lasers twirling around, the ending is a total cop-out … heck, there is NOTHING good about this movie.

    Unfortunately (?) I haven’t seen “Foodfight”, so I can’t use that as a reference, but I can say that “Last Flight” is slightly better than “The Lion of Judah” and considerably worse than “Silver Circle”, if that helps any.

    It is not a Star Wars ripoff, BTW. That’s just a brief portion of the movie that’s overrepresented in the trailer. Its really more of the Turbo/Planes “You can do anything if you set your mind to it regardless of how fundamentally unqualified you are” thing. Only taken to an absurd extreme, since most of the “crew” is so mentally disabled (literally!) that you feel uncomfortable that they’re even out in public unsupervised, let alone on a spaceship battling planet-enslaving armadas.

    It’s kind of a weird meta-level parallel with the movie itself, actually.

    The running pig scene (seen at 1:57 in the trailer) lasts a good 30 or 40 seconds, which tells you about all you need to know.

    I agree in principle that it’s a good thing when independent artists are able to see a product all the way through to a theatrical release, and support it with a nice website. But when I see something like this movie, I’m also forced to conclude that some people just should not be making movies, in EXACTLY the same way that snails should not be racing at Indy. Whatever time or resources they put into this thing was utterly, tragically wasted.

    • Eric Graf

      Update: I saw Foodfight.

      Foodfight, which is certainly atrocious, is MUCH better than The Last Flight of the Champion. In every possible respect.

      In fact, if you think Foodfight is the worst thing you’ve ever seen, you NEED to see this movie (or The Lion of Judah) and get some perspective!

  • http://www.mdotstrange.com/ M dot Strange

    Well I guess this is the best a U.S. based indie studio can do eh? I haven’t seen any other recent examples ^_^

  • George_Cliff

    And a render farm consisting of two Ti-81 graphing calculators and a 16 MHz 486 with 4 MB of ram.

  • Funkybat

    And the rest from “Starfox.”

  • teawalk

    I’m curious how they can get the money to make stuff like this