Director Victor Cook tells Ridhatul Rizki Sayuti what it takes to turn the popular Ben 10 animated series franchise into a CGI telemovie
CATCH boy wonder Ben 10 in his first CGI animated television movie Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens on Cartoon Network next month.
This telemovie is directed by Victor Cook, who also did The Spectacular Spider-Man.
“Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens does not really deviate from the animated series. The only difference is that the story is told using computer generated imagery ,” Cook told Life & Times recently.
Producing the telemovie was a long process that “began with the development of the story before the actual production of the movie”.
“We spent a year developing the CGI versions for four of the main characters. This is a crucial process because we needed to determine the CGI style we wanted to achieve, especially the right level of textures on the characters and to bring them to life in the CGI world, but not lose the essence of their 2D design.”
Cook said the most difficult process in producing the telemovie was translating the original character designs to CGI.
“I wanted to stay true to the essence of the original series yet capitalise on the CGI film-making tools.”
CGI also enabled him to choose textures for each character that fit his or personality.
Cook, who is a huge fan of the Ben 10 series, says that viewers, especially kids, can expect to watch Ben, his cousin Gwen and Grandpa Max save the world from evil powers with CGI effects.
“The story is definitely fun and has moments of humour. The banter between Ben and Gwen is fun to watch. What’s cooler than a 10-year-old boy who can turn into a super hero?”
The adventure begins when Ben jumps at the chance to escape from the Total Alien Immersion training programme on the far side of the galaxy.
Little does Ben realise the irreversible consequences of the programme, which sends him crashing back to earth, stuck in his alien form, battling an all-new evil alien, Mechamorph Warrior.
Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens is written by Marty Isenberg (G.I. Joe: Renegades) and features the original voice actors of the Ben 10 animated series.
“This is because we wanted to retain the flavour of the animated series,” says Cook, adding that they wanted viewers to recognise the characters and enjoy the adventure.
These are Tara Strong as the voice for Ben and Upgrade, Meagan Smith (Gwen) and Paul Eiding (Grandpa Max) while Steve Blum does an awesome job voicing new villain Mechamorph Warrior and Heatblast.
A voice actress, Strong is nicknamed “the woman of a thousand voices” as she has also lent her voice to The Powerpuff Girls Movie (Bubbles), Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare (Trudy) and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (Adella and Andrina).
Cook is a Korean-American who grew up in an airforce environment, having gone to schools in Texas, Florida, California as well as Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan.
“As a result, I was exposed to both American and Japanese animated programmes from young. I also collect Marvel, DC comics and manga.”
Cook is a big fan of Ben 10, Samurai Jack, Power Puff Girls, Batman The Animated Series, Loony Tunes, Lupin, Darkwing Duck, Jonny Quest and Speed Racer. “I love the mix of cinematic storytelling with drama and humour.”
Currently, Cook is working on the second season of Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated. He previously worked on Atlantis: Milo’s Return, The Legend Of Tarzan and Hellboy: Blood And Iron.
Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens airs on March 11 at 9am on Cartoon Network (Astro Channel 616).