Disney pop mo-cap in Zemeckis' ass


14th March 2010

Last stop for The Polar Express. Disney have shut down Robert Zemeckis' motion-capture studio ImageMovers Digital studio, meaning you won't be seeing his corpse-eyed puppet people any more.

Robert Zemeckis must secretly hate James Cameron: he's the VHS to Zemeckis' Betamax. Zemeckis was the one who took the biggest (and clumsiest) steps with motion-capture, with poorly-received animated films like The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol. Then, suddenly, along came James Cameron with his Avatar and his flash new technology that made Zemeckis' cartoons look like they were drawn by fingerless retards.

ImageMovers Digital, the studio behind Zemeckis' mo-cap follies, has hence forth been shit-canned by the Mouse House. The press release reads...

"Bob and the entire IMD team successfully built a state of the art studio and produced an amazing film, A Christmas Carol, at a time when the dynamics of the industry are rapidly changing.

"But, given today's economic realities, we need to find alternative ways to bring creative content to audiences and IMD no longer fits into our business model."
Run that through the Disney Bullshit Translator and it comes out like this:

"Robert Zemeckis is literally the only guy left in the world who still thinks people are impressed by his videogame cut-scene quality graphics.

"We've just now realised his fruity little animations are costing us a fortune so we told him he had an hour to collect up his ping pong balls and lycra jumpsuits and get the hell out of the building."
Okay, so this is perhaps a little harsh. Zemeckis' movies were showing signs of improvement (albeit from 'AAAH KILL IT WITH FIRE' to mere mild optical discomfort) and the forthcoming Yellow Submarine - which may ultimately be rescued - sounded like the kind of material which would have suited the technology. Also, 450 people just lost their jobs. I can't really make a snarky remark about that, can I? I do have a heart, you know.

Perhaps this is Disney performing an intervention for Zemeckis' own sake. Get out of your basement and off of the computer and get some damn ink on your fingers, man. You wrote Back To The Future! Starring real people, made from flesh and blood! Remember them? Remember Back To The Future, Robert?

Nope, he's gone. His brain's all pixels and polygons. Sad. So sad.

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