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Todd Jacobsen A Monkey's Tale Ngong Ping 360

  • Client: Ngong Ping 360 / Cartoons in the Basement (Director: Eric Goldberg)

  • Work Performed: Animation / Rough Inbetweens / Final Line

  • Project Dates: 2005 - 2006

“A Monkey’s Tale” was the third project (and the first of two theme park attractions) I worked on with animation legend Eric Goldberg. And — interestingly enough — the second project in a row that involved primates. Almost an entire year of drawing apes, from February 2005 (“Curious George”) until January 2006 (“A Monkey’s Tale”). My ancestors would be proud.

The first scene was rough animated by industry veteran Tom Roth. The scene length was fairly long and contained three characters…

Eric asked me to do all the rough inbetweening and cleanup animation on all three characters, and it took almost two weeks of 15 – 20 hour days (including weekends and three all-nighters) to complete. And Eric, knowing that I really wanted to move beyond assistant work, made it worth all that effort by giving me a scene to rough animate. Having the experience on “Curious George” really helped in creating walks for these two characters in the second scene. There was a fair amount of study on “George” regarding locomotion that also involved the use of apes’ arms, and some live-action reference I shot during an outing to Universal Studios’ wild animal show proved invaluable.

The butterfly at the beginning was inspired by the bread and butterflies part of “All in the Golden Afternoon” from Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland.” And I was honored to have all the clean up in this scene completed by another animation legend, Emily Juiliano. From what I understand, this installation in Hong Kong’s Ngong Ping 360 attraction used a huge, triptych-style panoramic screen and an immersive 7.1 sound system to play this film. From the way Eric described the finished project, it sounded pretty fantastic. (As of 2018, this attraction has closed.)


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