Archives for category: Dinosaurs

Dexter's Odyssey poster design without taglines by timbox129

I still don’t know if you’ve heard about this or not but I thought you might be interested.

Anyway, the 12 things as mandated by my edict for what I wanted and envisioned for Dexter’s Odyssey—my planned Genndy Tartakovsky/Dexter’s Laboratory Cartoon Network characters n’ dinosaurs epic—are as follows:

1) FOR THE DEXTER’S LABORATORY CARTOON CHARACTERS, YOU MUST STICK TO THE CHARACTER DESIGNS AND ANIMATION ART STYLE DONE FOR DEXTER’S LABORATORY’S ORIGINAL 1990s RUN

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I understand the fact that the last two seasons of Dexter’s Laboratory weren’t as good as the show’s original 1990s run, but for the character designs and 2D animation art style for the Dexter’s Laboratory characters to be included in Dexter’s Odyssey (like Dexter, Dee Dee, Mee Mee, Lee Lee, Mandark, Action Hank and Dexter and Dee Dee’s Mom and Dad), just stick to those from the 1990s run of Dexter’s Lab, not those from the 2001-2003 revival.

 2) NO OUTLINES FOR THE SAMURAI JACK-STYLE CHARACTERS, BUT RETAIN THE OUTLINES FOR THE DEXTER’S LAB-STYLE CHARACTERS

Even if the 2D traditional and largely hand drawn animated toon characters in Dexter’s Odyssey should be put in an otherwise live action world alongside mainly CGI dinosaurs and real life flesh and blood human performers, there must be a contrast between those from or in the character design and animation art style of Dexter’s Lab (the original 1990s run, at least) and those from in the character design and animation art style of Samurai Jack.

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I suggest no thick black surrounding outlines for the Samurai Jack-style toon characters, but retain the thick, black, surrounding outlines for the Dexter’s Laboratory-style toon characters.

3) ONLY ONE CHARACTER OR CREATURE SHOULD GET THE REALLY BIG CHARACTER PART AND/OR TAKE A REAL HERO’S JOURNEY THE MOST IN DEXTER’S ODYSSEY

Well, I suggest the Asian friend of Dexter’s sister Dee Dee: Lee Lee, to be exact.

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Even though Dexter’s Odyssey may be titled after Dexter the boy genius himself, Dexter’s Odyssey should focus for the most part on his sister Dee Dee’s Asian Friend Lee Lee and her mythic and epic ‘hero’s journey’ and not just Dexter and Dee Dee themselves feuding!

4) THE DINOSAURS IN DEXTER’S ODYSSEY SHOULD NOT LOOK OR SOUND LIKE THOSE FROM THE JURASSIC PARK FRANCHISE

For too long, all films and video games that have happened to feature dinosaurs, have, without exception, contained conscious nods to the Jurassic Park franchise—whether it’s visual or auditorial.

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Dexter’s Odyssey’s dinosaur scenes should contain little or no conscious nod—whether be they visual, auditory or narrative—to the Jurassic Park franchise.

Instead of the usual scaly reptilian and featherless representations of dinosaurs like the Velociraptors in Jurassic Park, there should be more bird-like and feathery dinosaur representations like this dinosaur:

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There should be beautifully rendered feathers, plus some recently discovered dinosaurs that we never see restored before, as well as a respect for dinosaurs that does not always treat them as mindless movie monsters or just kids stuff all the time, y’know what I’m saying?

Also, There should be no doubt that Dexter’s Odyssey would “reinvent big dinosaur adventure entirely”. Rather than getting bogged down in endless rewrites and development hell like what would become Jurassic World (coming in 2015, perhaps), it should provide a fresh new look at dinosaurs by doing something not done well since Who Framed Roger Rabbit (unless Space Jam and Looney Tunes Back In Action are counted) by combining live action and animation as well as dinosaurs.

But dinosaurs aren’t just seen, of course, they are heard, and one practice that has endured since the early days of sound movies is the use of real animal noises in the creation of the roars of fantasy creatures including dinosaurs, for example:

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Murray Spivack manipulated lion and tiger vocalizations for the original King Kong movie; The late Ray Harryhausen employed the sound of a slobbering camel for the Valley of Gwangi; And Gary Rydstrom incorporated a baby elephant trumpet into the mighty roar of the Tyrannosaurus Rex for Jurassic Park.

If I hire somebody who is a sound designer or sound editor to continue this time-proven technique on the big screen for Dexter’s Odyssey, I and that person should live within that world, but have to make sure that the dinosaur sounds should sound different than the dinosaur sounds of Jurassic Park.

But at least I wanted some of the larger theropod dinosaurs in the story such as the infamous T. Rex to stand-in for the dragons of myth, legend and lore. Just kidding!

5) THE MUSIC SCORE FOR DEXTER’S ODYSSEY SHOULD SOUND AS EPIC, CINEMATIC, AND ETHNIC AS POSSIBLE

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And I mean it.

The score for Dexter’s Odyssey should be this unusual and bizzare blend of epic and cinematic music, some bits of toon music (for Dexter’s Odyssey’s more comedic moments) and ethnic instrumental and ethnic vocal musical sounds from all around the world.

Sorta like the music for The Lion King, right?

6) NO FART OR EXCRETION JOKES!

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Since it is supposed to be an epic movie project, replete with raging epic battles, serious/controversial subject matter and all, you must leave the toilet humor to something else entirely.

7) HAVE A GREAT EPIC, CINEMATIC AND ETHNIC MUSICAL SENSE IN THE SCORE, AS LONG AS IT MUST HAVE APPROPRIATE MULTI-CULTURAL MUSICAL INFLUENCES AND MUSICAL CULTURAL ASSOCIATION

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Not every piece of music in Dexter’s Odyssey has to succumb to a bad hip hop tune. This isn’t a The Lonely Island sketch you’re producing. This is a live action/animated epic film project that contains a diverse network of cultures that are different than one another, despite being in an alternate world where toons, humans, and dinosaurs live, so be more appropriate and more subtle with the multi-cultural kinds of music you’re choosing—whether it’s from Europe, or from Africa or from the Far East.

8) ALLOW DEPTH IN THE CHARACTERS—HUMAN OR CARTOON; NO FLANDERIZATION NOR JUMPING THE SHARK 

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Let the characters have more colors to them than just pink or green or purple or blue or black or red. Subtlety is your friend.

9) POP-CULTURAL REFERENCES NEEDS CONTEXT, NOT RANDOMNESS

 

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Even if Dexter’s Odyssey is an epic film project with raging battles, sweeping camera movements, rousing rescues and intense close-ups, Do NOT put in pop-cultural references just for the sake of pop-cultural references. They need purpose other than selling out something.

10) USE FEW OR NO CELEBRITY VOICES FOR THE TOONS

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Seriously, I will not over-rely on using Hollywood celebrities for the voices of the toon characters in Dexter’s Odyssey, I mostly wanted Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack toon voices that should sound just like the originals but provided by actors who can go with the occasional comedy or drama.

11) THE LIVE ACTORS SHOULD CLEARLY INTERACT WITH THE HAND-DRAWN AND/OR CGI ANIMATION, ESTABLISH EYE LINES AND BE CONSISTENTLY INVOLVED WITH ACTION THAT ISN’T TAKING PLACE AT THE TIME OF LIVE ACTION FILMING

 

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These are the three conditions that Dexter’s Odyssey’s live actors—since they may especially be relative unknowns and non-professional no-names (some of them possibly from high school drama clubs and other youth programs) should follow under, but nonetheless I shall allow even those non-professional no name and relative unknown live actors to improvise their dialogue.

and finally,

12) DO NOT OVER-RELY ON CGI FOR ITS SPECIAL AND VISUAL EFFECTS AND/OR MOVIE-MAKING IN GENERAL

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I know debate is still raging over whether computer generated effects are better than those done practically or if you and I can truly beat the real thing, but Dexter’s Odyssey should provide room for all manner of special effects in the cinema. It should combine not only live action and traditional 2D hand drawn Genndy Tartakovsky-style animation but also cutting edge digital graphics, miniatures, animatronics, prosthetics and makeup and/or even plain old visual trickery. If it is magical, it should go in the movie, whether it shall spring from a hard-drive or from a 2D animator’s pencil, or shall take a team of dedicated artists months to create. Dexter’s Odyssey should be an equal opportunities live action/animation/special effects event.

Again, you and I don’t want to be too judgmental, but what do you think?

Three Ballerinas, A Boy Genius, A Yutyrannus, and an Epic Journey

Three Ballerinas, A Boy Genius, A Yutyrannus, and an Epic Journey. ’nuff said.

 

Well, you guys know what sparked my fascination and obsession with dinosaurs that dates all the way back to my early childhood. It was back in the day of the early or mid 1990’s.

I have these images of these animals in my head, when I was a little baby or toddler. It was a half hour VHS hosted by Eric Broadman and the original voice of Space Ghost (the original 1966 Hanna Barbara cartoon, not the more popular Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and other William Street productions for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.), Gary Owens.

It is called…More Dinosaurs. I will tell you about what I saw in full detail…

It all started with Gary Owens meeting Eric Broadman in what is supposed to be the home of Donald F. Glut (author of the Empire Strikes Back novelization). It then shows photos of the early dinosaur hunters like O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope, which are the guys who are involved in the bone wars of the late 19th century.

It then shows Eric saying how to find more dinosaurs, and then zooms in to the mouth of a tyrannosaur and there is a well done opening title sequences fabricated from images of the ever-popular 1981 William Stout book, the Dinosaurs: A Fantastic New View of a Lost Era (reissued in 2000 as the New Dinosaurs, y’know, the reissue of William Stout’s dinosaur book that I have in my house).

It then shows dinosaur caricatures of Gary and Eric before moving on to a 1985 animation festival opening where a punk-dressed, anthropomorphic dinosaur juvenile delinquent making a graffiti outside a building before being chased off by the sounds of police siren alarms and shouts from the off-screen police (“HEY YOU!”) and then show what he wrote in the grafitti… Mokele-mbembe (translating from the languages of the African natives of the Congo region, it meant “creature that blocks the four rivers”), which is described by Herman Regusters (or whatever I say his last name) as a living 35 feet sauropod dinosaur.

It then show Eric Broadman documenting Herman’s failed attempts to find that living sauropod the African natives called Mokele-mbembe via video footage that has recovered from the jungles of Congo.

Eric narrates that Mokele-mbembe’s footprints were discovered in 1776 (around the time the Americans declare their independence from the UK, giving birth to the United States of America) and says that natives were humiliating and eating remnants/members of that sauropod’s family.

It then shows Charles R. Knight’s 1897 reconstruction of a sauropod by the name of Amphicoelias and then stills of what is used to be Mokele-mbembe swimming in the Congo river that Herman took in his failed attempt to find that dinosaur.

Well, Eric was sitting in the park and reminding me or us that the only way to see a living dinosaur was to dinosaur films like Disney ill-fated 1985 Touchstone Pictures release, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (which feature some great pre-Jurassic Park animatronic dinosaurs or brontosaurs or sauropods) followed by behind the scenes clips of that film (including the making of the animatronic brontosaurs) and a clip from that film as well.

It then show Gary, who, in front of those zany and wacky dinosaur puppets, and while giving way to clips from the 1925 silent version of the Lost World, narrates that the first full length feature film to include dinosaurs might be that 1925 silent version of the Lost World, whose stop motion dinosaurs were brought to life by some guy who would later bring to life Kong and the Dinosaurs in the Original 1933 King Kong (later remade by Peter Jackson in 2005). He said it was a huge success in 1925 and indicates that in the climax of the 1925 silent version, an Apatosaurus rampages through London, the capital city of the UK, before diving into the Thames River to avoid capture and as its weight disintegrated the London Bridge it stood upon.

Gary also pointed out that earlier in 1914 (1912, he said), Animator Winsor McCay drew the first widely popular cartoon character with personality, Gertie the Dinosaur as well as showing a clip of that cartoon which precedes King Kong, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, even James Cameron’s AVATAR (my favorite movie).

It then flashes back to Eric walking in the lush tropical park before moving on to an interview with a paleontologist living in the 1980s named Edwin H. Colbert and followed by clips from what it is used to be a stop motion short with a dinosaur and a caveman and what it used to be Ray Harryhausen’s unfinished and ambitious Evolution of the World project he made between 1938 and 1940 before he cancel his own project after seeing the Rite of Spring segment in Disney’s Fantasia.

Gary Owens then pointed out that dinosaur movies are different than dinsaurology (which is dinosaur science), and then it shows a color photo of what Roy Chapman Andrews discovered in 1924 Mongolia what is used to be a nest full of Protoceratops egg embryos (now identified as an Oviraptor nest not long after Jurassic Park opens in theatres in 1993, 8 years after this video was produced in 1985 or something like that.).

It Was followed by one of Douglas Henderson’s illustrations that he did for a book called Maia: A Dinosaur Grows Up, Gregory S. Paul’s illustration of Hadrosaurs nesting or taking care of their young, and a sauropod herd illustration that you will find in an 1984 book called Ranger Rick’s Dinosaur Book as well as a illustration of an installment of the ZooBooks series where a baby Protoceratops hatches from its egg, Gregory S. Paul (the author of the ever-popular 1988 book, Predatory Dinosaurs of the World) being interviewed and Mark Hallett’s 1985 contribution for the ZooBooks Dinosaur Book showing a herd of Triceratops defending its young from a pair of striding Tyrannosaurus Rex, followed by a clip from test footage of Willis O’Brien’s unfinished 1931 Creation Project which led directly or indirectly to the original 1933 King Kong. It shows a Triceratops watching over its young.

It then shows Eric traveling through the country side and passing and bumping through sculptures of a Stegosaurus, A Triceratops, what it look like A Diplodocus, and a Dimetrodon (which is a non dinosaur which lives in the Permian period which is way before the dinosaurs took over the earth), before being given some reward from some old guys.

Eric travels through a city full of dinosaur-related signs, before meeting a hitchhiker before stopping at the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, where he was interviewed by a guy working in that quarry.

Eric then destroys the Quarry which collapses and reveals a scene in the Mesozoic showing a Stegosaurus and a Apatosaurus fleeing from what it look like a Tyrannosaurus or an Allosaurus which was stopped by Eric who warns the animal that a flood is coming, only to be wiped out, along with the dinosaurs by a flood engineered by a dinosaur surfer before being buried in the earth which then breaks and dug up by paleontologists, as Gary as narrator tells us of a mistake involving the Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus head controversy until cutting to Eric in skeleton form collapsing from his pilt helmet.

Gary then peers into a skull of a Tyrannosaurus, before talking to a curator at the Smithsonian (that museum with an African Elephant in the Museum’s entrance) who shows us the history of life on earth up until the dinosaurs’ extinction.

It then shows a skit featuring Eric visiting children in an elementary school being obsessed with dinosaurs, followed by a clip from the 1980 Will Vinton Claymation short, Dinosaur (not the 2000 CGI film from Disney that places talking CGI dinosaurs and lemur-like primates in digitally processed and manipulated live action footage) and by Eric playing with clay representations of a dinosaur and a pterosaur.

It then shows Edwin talking about Dinosaur footprints as well as a brief tour of what the dinosaur hall at the American Museum of Natural History probably look like when this video was made and put it on video store shelves.

It ended with Eric reuniting with Gary and being spotted and stalked and pursued by a cheesy-looking Tyrannosaurus Rex before being gobbled up by the cheesy-looking dinosaur as the video and its closing credits were brought to a close.

It ended with a video promo of a 1987 dinosaur video titled Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! (which is well known for Gary Owens’ transformation into a anthropomorphic stop motion animated talking dinosaur (paging the 1991 Disney/Jim Henson TV series, Dinosaurs) (That video actually came out after a video on the prehistoric mammals that took over after the dinosaurs became extinct, titled Prehistoric World), as well as a clip of the dinosaur parade from that video before closing out with footage of children playing alongside a Triceratops outside the Smithsonian before the video fades to black.

See, it was the video that sparked my fascination and obsession with dinosaurs that dates all the way back to my early childhood. As I grow up, I was beginning to learn about contemporary and recent theories on dinosaurs (some of them are outdated), you know like, how the dinosaurs look in real life, flesh and blood, and the fact that dinosaurs are active, tail-off-the-ground warm-blooded and communal animals that practiced socialization and parenting among other things, as well as, among other things, dinosaur nesting grounds, the mass migration of herds, polar habitats, the shape of Apatosaurus’ head, giant meteoritic impacts, the fact that birds are living dinosaurs and even the Feathered Dinosaur revolution that has been going since the 1996 discovery of Sinosauropteryx. And I really think a dinosaur movie like my dream project, Dexter’s Odyssey (though based on and inspired by characters from Dexter’s Laboratory (my favorite TV show and cartoon) and/or The Powerpuff Girls, two obscure kids TV cartoons from the 1990’s, I think it will have dinosaurs as well as winged fire-breathing dragons that is to share the skies with birds and/or pterosaurs), might be the culmination of my fascination and obsession with dinosaurs that dates all the way back to my early childhood.

So, besides my encounter with that video, can anyone please tell what sparked the fascination and obsession with dinosaurs of any of you who likes dinosaurs (even if it dates all the way back to the early childhood of even some of you), in addition to the video that I’m talking about? I really appreciate it. Thank you.

 

Much fuss has been made over the talking dinosaurs and Cretaceous monkeys (or Lemurs, as they are called in this Disney movie) as well as the lackluster writing or so in Disney’s ill-recieved 2000 computer animated movie, Dinosaur. In fact, besides the fact that Disney (the producing studio) still barely made a profit from Dinosaur, it is also notorious as much for its talking dinosaur and lemur (monkey) characters as for its story and/or content or so.

But consider an isolated sound effects-only track of Disney’s Dinosaur that I found in a 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD of Disney’s Dinosaur from 2001 (which is 10 years ago; and you see, I’m referring to the year that the terrorists attack on September 11th, but not the Stanley Kubrick movie of the same title).

Like I said before, It is just an isolated sound effects-only track of the 2000 Disney CGI animated feature, Dinosaur, ripped from the 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD of the movie. There is no dialogue or music in this one, but I think it turned out pretty well for a 10-year-old DVD of an 11-year old film that is the one and only serious attempt to integrate all-CG animated characters in live action settings in an CG animated feature. I think Christopher Boyes from Skywalker Sound designed and supervise the sound for Disney’s Dinosaur.

So, what do you hear in what I call ‘The Soundscapes of Disney’s Dinosaur’? What do they sound like during the Soundscapes of Disney’s Dinosaur? What are you picturing during the Soundscapes of Disney’s Dinosaur? Well, what are your thoughts and/or comments on the Soundscapes of Disney’s Dinosaur?

Imagine that I’m gonna make a dinosaur movie of my own.

Imagine that such a dinosaur movie should be made possible, but mainly by my extensive or comprehensive research on and study and knowledge of these magnificent, often terrifying prehistoric creatures long gone from the earth, even though I may not be a true paleontologist myself.

Imagine that if I believe that nobody have ever made a truly great dramatic dinosaur movie, apart from the Jurassic Park movies and the original 1933 King Kong from RKO, what if I may plan to change that with a dramatic live action/animation hybrid epic filmed entirely on real 15/70mm IMAX motion picture film  (which will hopefully be one of, if not, the first major Hollywood full-length feature film project ever to filmed on real 15/70mm IMAX cameras, exlcuding Hollywood movies shot partially in the IMAX format, such as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight), and one which should tell the entire story of the entire age of the dinosaurs, but with no words, no dialogue, and no narration voiceovers, other than music and the earth-shaking roars of the dinosaurs? And what if it should feature every known dinosaur and non-dinosaur species from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods of the Mesozoic era, and should span the entire planet during those geologic time intervals and especially land, air, and sea? 

Well, I think of the dinosaurs as the most interesting animal group ever to walk the earth, even though they were long extinct for 65 or so million years. I call The Age of Dinosaurs, aka the Mesozoic era, “an epic poem of natural history”. I think of the reign of Tyrannosaurus Rex, or T. Rex for short, as “one of the great reigns of terror of all time”, even though Tyrannosaurus Rex may have hunt or scavenge or both, just for survival, or something. and I said that the dinosaurs are one of those remarkable creatures who move the history of our planet (and not just the history of mankind) and mold the destiny of the times and generations to come for every living thing on this planet, especially in general.

Imagine that if I finally got around making that dinosaur movie of mine, I shall sent many a person, maybe an assistant, ’round the entire planet, even getting him or her to help replicate everything known to be in the dinosaur era, especially environments looking like those during the Mesozoic era, so that I could match them on the big IMAX screen. Like, “Wherever a dinosaur went, I want you to go,” I will say.

Well, I’ve read lots of dinosaur books since I was little, and maybe before I can do my dinosaur movie or something, I shall read more dinosaur books and scientific documents or something, maybe breaking down the info on dinosaurs into categories on everything from the food tastes of many species of dinosaurs to the weather on the specific year during the dinosaur era.

Imagine that I may gather lots and lots of location scouting photos and lots and lots of slides of dinosaur imagery, past and present!

And what if I may utilize real 15/70mm IMAX motion picture film (for even the live action aspects), along with special effects imagery, and the most beautifully animated, photorealistic CG dinosaurs ever achieved for a movie apart from those of the Jurassic Park franchise, for my dinosaur movie project, all without words, and with no dialogue and no narration voiceovers?  

And I repeat, what if I shoot the entire dinosaur movie project of mine on 70mm IMAX film cameras, just like Chris Nolan with some scenes in his Dark Knight movie from 2008?

What if  I shall go to great and sometimes extreme lengths to get almost everything right for my dinosaur movie project, save for some nods to dramatic effect, and what if my dinosaur movie should strive to recreate prehistoric life during the entire dinosaur era  as accurately as possible, paying close attention to everything from how they ate, live and die, to one of the most speculative and challenging aspect of my dinosaur movie project and especially dinosaur science, the look and sounds of the dinosaurs themselves (I should hire somebody like Richard King, the guy behind the sound design for The Dark Knight and Inception and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, or someone else, to do the sound and especially the dinosaur vocalizations)?

What if my dinosaur movie project, which should be called…

Timothy Robert McKenzie’s DINOSAUR

or, DINOSAUR (not the 2000 Disney CGI film of the same title), for simply short, should be hailed as one of the best, greatest, and most influential dinosaur movies ever made alongside Jurassic Park and King Kong ?

What if every single bit on info pertaining to the making of my dinosaur movie project  should someday be published in the form of a book called…

TIMOTHY MCKENZIE’S DINOSAUR: ONE OF THE GREATEST DINOSAUR MOVIES SINCE JURASSIC PARK

And what if such a book on my dinosaur movie project should be multiple books in one enormous carved out fake book or something, with all the location scouting photos, all the dinosaur research pictures and artwork,  conceptual artwork, correspondence from dinosaur experts, and everything else on the making of Timothy Robert McKenzie’s Dinosaur  included, and especially audio/visual (i.e. film/video) materials, like this?

Even so, and even if you pay to go see a dinosaur movie like mine or something else, what’s your word?