gatchaman-teaser-3

Years ago the animation studio Imagi, which created the last TMNT film, was working on a couple different project based on classic Japanese sci-fi and television. One was Gatchaman, which would have been a CG-animated update of the Japanese anime show about five “science ninjas” who wear bird-themed costumes and end up fighting to protect humanity from a terrorist organization led by “a shape-shifting mutant hermaphrodite who acts on the orders of an alien superior.” (The story was softened and changed when imported to the US under the titles Battle of the Planets and G-Force.)

But Imagi struggled as a studio and ultimately closed in 2010, and with it the Gatchaman movie died on the vine. There’s a new live-action movie out of Japan now, just to create a sense of confusion, but every once in a while we get to see a bit of footage from the animated Gatchaman that never was. We’ve seen a couple of teasers, but now two videos are available that show the creation of a chase sequence, from pre-vis to nearly final animation.

This video is all pre-vis of a chase sequence which, frankly, doesn’t seem all that much like a Gatchaman sequence at first:

But this video shows a lot more animation, including some polished work on that chase sequence that is much closer to final, and which makes it look more in keeping with the series:

The footage at the opening there is from one of the early teasers for the film — I believe that surfaced around 2005. There’s also some character study work that uses audio and a scene from X-Men as a basis for test animation.

Here’s the most recent trailer for the film, released in 2010 or 2011, followed by an animatic that shows the development of another sequence.

Thanks to /Film reader Leonard for the long video.

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