For all the hype and fanfare over American animated features put out by Pixar and Dreamworks, sometimes I think we forget to keep our collective eye on what animated storytellers overseas are working on.
Thanks to the watchful eyes of Twitch Film we have a look at the teaser trailer for a new French animated feature called The Prodigies (La Nuit des enfants rois) and from the looks of it, this is one flick that sci-fi/animation fans may want to keep an eye out for.
Based on the 1982 novel by Bernard Lenteric, The Prodigies movie adaptation tells the following tale of teen angst, rebellion and super0-powered destruction:
NYC, Central Park, 2010. Five young teenagers are violently assaulted. But they're not your average teenagers... they're prodigies. The trauma of the assault incites them to lash out against the world in a cold and calculating way. The five chillingly brilliant minds come together to concoct a perfect revenge. The only person aware of the pending doom is Jimbo Farrar, a sixth prodigy, who has gathered them. As long as he fights against his five counterparts with all his might, there's hope for the world. But should he turn over to their side, it's only a matter of time before a disaster of apocalyptic proportions ensues...
Check out The Prodigies teaser trailer below:
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The film is being directed by Antoine Charreyron, whose directing experience up to this point has consisted mainly of video games like Wet, Wheelman, Shadow Ops: Red Mercury, Tomb Raider VI, and more. While at first glance that resume might not seem like a proper fit for an animated feature, when you consider the look of The Prodigies - i.e., the rough-form shell-shaded animation - it's more like a modestly-budgeted video game rather than the hyper-slick and polished CGI animated styles we've become accustomed to. I say that to say: Charreyron is working in an environment he knows well.
But what about the story? While the premise seems simple enough, it must be remembered that European cinema (French cinema especially) tends to be a lot different than what most American audiences are used to. If you look at that footage in the teaser and expect a mindless sci-fi/action romp, you'll likely be disappointed when the movie turns out to be more meditative and brooding than it is kinetic. At least that's what my experience with French cinema has taught me...
Still, it's hard not to be intrigued by the notion of five teens destroying New York City. I'm already looking forward to this movie more than that other teen-angst meets sci-fi flick, I Am Number Four.
Warner Bros. France currently plans to release The Prodigies in French theaters on May 25th. We'll keep you updated about a U.S. release.
Source: The Prodigies official site via Twitch Film