Here’s the teaser trailer for the low-rent live-action/cg Woody Woodpecker feature that we first wrote about in July:
Expectations were modest for the project—it’s designed for a local Brazilian audience, where Woody is known as Pica-Pau, and stars a Brazilian actress who is unknown in the United States.
The film is being produced by Universal 1440 Entertainment, the production arm of Universal’s home entertainment division, and directed by Alex Zamm, whose last theatrical feature in the United States was the 1998 Carrot Top film Chairman of the Board.
The main attraction here, from our perspective at least, is Woody himself, a classic American cartoon character who celebrated his 76th anniversary this year. And they’ve gone and messed him up good. In the brief teaser, we’re exposed to countless atrocious design choices, the kind that American cg producers were making much more frequently in the aughts. Woody now has beak acne, goth-eyeliner, and an overtextured iris. Harsh lighting choices give a scaly appearance to his feathers.
Of course, it’s not just Woody who’s a mess. The hasty compositing of cg elements into the live-action plates suggest that the overall production is cheaply made. It’s telling that Universal Pictures Brazil released this teaser on Youtube in 480p, perhaps to help hide its awfulness, whereas all their recently-released Sing promos have been in high-def 1080p.
Pica-Pau is being produced in English, and Woody is voiced by Eric Bauza (Stimpy in Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon, Rodolfo/White Pantera in El Tigre, Belly Bag in Uncle Grandpa). Zamm wrote the script with William Robertson, with rewrites by Paul A. Kaplan and Mark Torgove.