Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Extra News - Latina animator on a roll with ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

Extra News - Latina animator on a roll with ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

Check out another interview with me about Panda 2. This one's in English so most of you guys can read it. Cheers and if you haven't already, go see PANDA 2!!

Latina animator Rebecca Perez on a roll with ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’
by Kiko Martínez | trad. Víctor Flores

Working as an animator for DreamWorks Animation Studios since 2009, Rebecca Pérez has been part of the creative team known for making such well-received films as “Megamind” and the Oscar-nominated fantasy adventure “How to Train Your Dragon.”

In her third animated film with DreamWorks, Pérez, who has also worked as an animator during her four-year career with Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox, takes on a new challenge in “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the sequel to the highly-entertaining 2008 animation about a chubby panda bear named Po (Jack Black) who learns a prophecy has identified him as the Dragon Warrior.

In the “Panda 2,” Po must lead the Furious Five – Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Monkey (Jackie Chan), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu) and Crane (David Cross) – to defeat a villainous peacock known as Lord Shen (Gary Oldman). Along with showing off his martial arts prowess, Po is given the opportunity find out more about his family roots.

During an interview with EXTRA, Pérez, who is Cuban-American, talked about the character she grew most attached to in “Kung Fu Panda 2” and the moment in her life when she knew she wanted to be an animator.

EXTRA: What was your specific role as an animator on “Kung Fu Panda 2?”

Rebecca Pérez: I had the opportunity to work on most of the characters – Tigress and the rest of the five [main characters] as well as some of the others like the sheep.

Is it easy to get attached to these characters after working on them for so long?

You definitely get attached especially if you get to work on one particular character more than the others. I actually got attached to the sheep character, which is interesting because I don’t
think she even has a name.

What was it about the character that you liked so much?

I think it was because I just got to work with her so much. The majority of her scenes were all my shots. I also felt for her because she has so much innocence. There was a lot of emotion in her character.

What kinds of cartoons did you grow up watching as a kid?

I watched all sorts of Saturday morning cartoons like “The Smurfs.” I really like the short animations that were funny and whimsical.

Did you watch cartoons like any other kid would or did you feel there was more to them on an artistic level?

I don’t think it was until later in life when I saw “The Little Mermaid” when I realized there was more to it like storytelling and performance. I knew right away I wanted to be part of that.

So, was that the moment you knew you wanted to be an animator?

Actually, the point in my life where I knew that was when I saw an animated TV commercial for Listerine that I would later find out was made by Pixar before they were know for making films. When I saw it at the time, I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at. When I saw that animated bottle of mouthwash it transformed animation into something I had never seen before. I wanted to know how they did it.

What does it feel like when you finally get to see all your hard work as a final product on the big screen?

It’s very moving especially when you have kids around you laughing. Seeing it with an audience is so refreshing. It definitely
enriches the whole experience.

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