What the hell is The Prodigies?

That’s a question I’d very much like to have answered myself. Prior to the teaser trailer, I hadn’t heard a thing about this 3D animated film from France, but now it’s quickly become one of my more anticipated movies of the year.

The film is based on Bernard Lenteric’s early ’80s novel of the same name (French title: La nuit des enfants rois), and centers around a group of gifted teenagers whose past traumas cause them to wreak havoc against the world — and the one person capable of putting a stop to their revenge. Watch the immensely cool teaser trailer after the break.

Within a period of 60 seconds, The Prodigies teaser (found via Twitch Film) injects enough swirling camera movements and city-wide destruction — all hypnotically set to “Exogenesis Symphony Pt 1: Overture” by Muse — to get any action aficionado salivating and longing for more. While not nearly as detailed as most modern CGI productions, the cell-shaded animation style (which immediately calls to mind Team Fortress 2) has a unique charm all its own, and is among the key elements that has me so amped to check out the finished film. (The other key element is: I really like swirling camera movements.)

The teaser is in French, but don’t fret, because the dialogue is minimal-to-nonexistent. That also means there’s no telling how the film might deliver on any level beyond a visual one. This is the first feature effort from Antoine Charreyron, and his past directing experience has consisted solely of style-heavy video games such as Wet (starring Eliza Dushku) and Wheelman (starring Vin Diesel), both of which were more or less tongue-in-cheek recreations of their own respective action movie genres. With that in mind: As long as The Prodigies delivers an excess of collapsing skyscrapers and other assorted chaotic happenings across the streets of New York, I’m all set.

Warner Bros. is releasing the film in France on March 9th, 2011. Hopefully the US release isn’t too far off.

Here’s the plot synopsis:

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…

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