Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron : Jeffrey Katzenberg Interview

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Dreamworks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg wants to open our minds to a new cinematic animation experience.

The man behind the already classic Shrek held court in the Warner West End as he delivered some advanced clips from the soon to be released Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Katzenberg touched upon the advances in animation and the maturity in this new work.

Spirit:Stallion of the Cimarron is released through United International Pictures on July 5.

Why Horses?

Katzenberg was unabashed in his adoration and respect for the creature we call The Horse. "There is no more beloved animal, one that has such an inextricable link with man. It is also the single most difficult animal to animate, especially the movement of the thighs and legs. "

The future of animation. ..

Katzenberg offered some intriguing thoughts on the future of 2-D animation and computer generated effects, drawing comparison between the e-mail and the letter.

Spirit, he said, was an attempt to marry the personal, traditional 2-D form with the advances in computer technology. The ultimate result, he hoped, would be a seamless transition, so that the technology was invisible yet crucial to the success of the film.

Katzenberg crowned this as being "tradiginal". Yes, he laughed too when he said it, but such humility ensured an understanding of what he wanted to communicate.

For Kids, but not just for Kids

Mr Katzenberg then drove to the heart of the matter. Spirit, with its animal point of view, the use of Bryan Adams' songs and Hans Zimmer's score to help emotionally charge the movie, represents a more mature form of animation.

The decisive factor in this, he said, was that the animals didn't talk with human voices. Visual proof of this served to illustrate that Katzenberg has scored with this decision. The action is far more realistic and the facial and bodily expressions are something to behold. The most impressive thing is that there is the lightness of touch and sense of fun to appeal to a younger audience, whilst delivering an entertainment that is educational and captivating.

With a voice over provided by Matt Damon, Dreamworks have attempted to deliver a film that pushes boundaries, sets new heights, and above all, is aimed at everyone. It looks very much like they will succeed.

The film was invited to screen at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18th.

"Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron (2002)," opens in the UK on July 5th and is distributed in the UK and Ireland by United International Pictures.