Well this is certainly something. More specifically, it’s Kochadaiiyaan, India’s first real attempt at 3D motion capture animation. It’s set for release on May 9th, and Cartoon Brew had a nice little post detailing this trailer’s reception, along with some other featurettes.
And it’s a nice try at motion capture when you consider the movie was made in only a year and a half on a $20.5 million budget. By comparison, James Cameron’s Avatar (which used the same mo-cap technology as this film) took seven years and $237 million.
Watching the trailer is certainly a weird experience though. At times it almost looks like the actors are based on real people, but the rest of the time it looks like a late-’90s videogame. Now, plenty of late-’90s videogames looked and were awesome, and Kochadaiiyaan certainly looks like a wild ride too. But since it’s a movie, it should ideally look more like a movie.
Still, this is a solid first step, and there’s plenty of good to be said about it as a first try. What’s more, it’s directed by a 29 year old woman named Soundarya Ashwin, who also plays three different roles in the film. It’s actually impressive for such a young director to do this much with new technology and a small budget in such a short time.
But more importantly than any of that, this movie brings a new kind of animation to a potentially unexposed audience. That, in and of itself, is good enough that the rest can be overlooked. And in time everything will improve until Bollywood has caught up to where Hollywood is now.