Have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?

Anticipating Prince Caspian, Part 2

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Patrons at Comic-Con this year had a first look at some early pre-visualization graphics for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and among those elements highlighted at the show was none other than my favorite character from the book—Reepicheep. 

Richard Taylor (visual effects supervisor for WETA Digital, the effects house responsible for The Lord of the Rings trilogy) had a word with MTV about the venerable rodent…

“Reepicheep is one of the most famous fantasy characters in Western literature,” he added. “This is a crazy little mouse who stands about a foot tall and runs around with a sword called a rapier. It’s a fencing foil, the sort of thing Zorro might fight with, and he does some serious damage.”

The man responsible for creating the rapier-wielding rodent isn’t kidding: Audiences cheered test footage showing Reepicheep spoofing “Mission: Impossible,” cracking wise and cracking skulls. “I can’t wait to see him onscreen,” Taylor beamed. “He’s filled with incredible bravado, to the point of madness. He’s almost suicidal.”

Reepicheep, in my mind, poses a challenge similar to Mr. Tumnus in the previous film. When the audience first follows Lucy through the wardrobe, Tumnus is their first encounter with the living, breathing Narnia.  That moment had to work for the audience to accept the stranger portions of the world, not to mention Aslan.  Reepicheep’s audacious nature lends itself too easily to comedy.  Accepting him as a viable character, and not as some goofy aside, depends largely on the animators rendering his performance.  As George Lucas said about a digital Yoda, the goal here would be to not make him look funny. 

Taylor, at least for those familiar with the celebrities in the world of visual effects, set himself apart as the Dennis Muren of WETA with LOTR.  His meticulous attention to detail will likely do more to help this objective than hinder.  Although, spoofing Mission: Impossible cocks an eyebrow.  That kind of thing typically belongs to something like Shrek


Written by taj

August 9, 2007 at 11:49 am

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  1. […] Saturday, March 3rd, 2007 in Writing, Movies, Books UPDATE: 8/9/07 – Click here.  […]

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