Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon is finally here in North America, on home video, courtesy of Shout! Kids. I’ve looked at this movie a while back (review link), and what I offer is a quick look at the bonus material that’s included in the DVD release:
From the Press Release:
AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON is an inspiring fantasy movie adventure of a young heroine and her thrilling journey to save the endangered Amazon rainforest. Directed by Jose Zelada and Richard Claus (The Little Vampire and The Thief Lord) with a Peruvian-Dutch co-production among Tunche Films (Lima) and Cool Beans (Amsterdam), AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON is a strikingly visual and colorful animated movie bolstered by vibrant storytelling, a strong young female lead character, fascinating folklores, and the relevant theme of deforestation and environmental conservation.
The movie features a talented voice cast of Lola Raie (Cheaper by the Dozen), Naomi Serrano (New Amsterdam), Dino Andrade (Batman: Arkham Asylum), Joe Hernandez (Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy), Alejandra Gollas (Quinceañera), Bernardo De Paula (Carmen Sandiego), Thom Hoffman (Black Book), Yeni Alvarez (Pinochio), Susana Ballesteros (The House of Flowers), Rene Mujica (Elena of Avalor), Gerardo Prat (The Barrier), and Rico Sola.
This DVD package is fairly basic. It includes a featurette which details the production process. From how the models are created to putting them into the 3D space, the process is definitely fascinating from a CGI artist’s point of view. We also see what rigging is consists of, since not everyone is aware of how the animation is done.
Unlike how animation was done in the yesteryears, where it was sheets of plastic overlaid upon background (cel style), what’s offered here is more like stop-motion and ‘tweening with a computer doing the bulk of the work to realise each individual frame to simulate motion. It’s a relatively engaging 15 minute piece to which will only have viewers appreciate the difficult process that goes on in any film. I’m sure PIXAR and other studios use a similar (but in house made) application to bring their characters to life.
Also included is a music video, and the usual trailers for viewers to see how this film was initially promoted.
I’m glad that North America has a chance to see this Peruvian film. Although it’s tough for it to compete against the power of Disney/PIXAR, Illumination and the like, it can stand proud on its own because of the effort put to say why the film’s environmental message needs to be spread. We need more awareness in order to protect the Amazon rainforest!