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Analysis of the Infected Lewa Animation


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#1 Offline Pereki

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Posted Jan 27 2013 - 08:07 PM

Many of you will no doubt recall the enigmatic animation that depicts a small Rahi and Lewa running about Le-Wahi. Dubbed the "Infected Lewa Animation" due to the worn appearance of the Toa's Kanohi, the animation has been identified as a test done by Miramax during their work on BIONICLE: Mask of Light. Why? Because another, less-known video was discovered, also depicting Lewa running through Le-Wahi. In this case, the animation was featured in an early trailer for Mask of Light.

 

It was logical enough to assume that both the animations were completed by Miramax. However, the wildly different animation style between these and the final movie made me want to look back over them carefully, and see if there was something we missed. As it turns out, there are quite a few things of note about both videos.

 

Image 1

 

I went in to this expecting to find that neither animation was produced by Miramax, so you can imagine my surprise at seeing the above in the Mask of Light trailer animation. Take a close look at that tree, and then compare it to this screenshot from Mask of Light itself:

 

Image 2

 

The textures on the trees are nearly identical. There is little doubt, then that this test animation was made by Miramax, despite the significant differences it has with the MoL.

 

With that out of the way, let's compare the two test animations:

 

Image3

Image 4

 

When comparing these two screenshots, take note of the Technic bush just below Lewa's head. Have you spotted the difference? The one in the MoL trailer animation has gears on it, as opposed to the one in the Infected Lewa animation, which uses the standard piece.

 

Image 5

Image 6

 

This time, it's Lewa's arms. The Infected Lewa version is, again, true to the set, while the one in the trailer reuses Lewa's left arm on his right side. Also, the arms are significantly different shades of green.

 

What I am getting at here is that the Lewas in the respective animations are completely different models. This means it is highly improbable that the Infected Lewa Animation was made by Miramax. Why would they make two only slightly different models for the same character? What's more, Lewa is a character they would have known would not appear in the final movie. There is no reason for them to put work into minutely tweaking a model that they are just using for an early test.

 

This leaves us with several possibilities for the origin of the Infected Lewa Animation:

 

I. It is a fan animation

This theory seems the least likely. If one thing is certain, it is that the animation is very professional. Even if a fan had made it, would not they be sure to show it off, and make it clear who produced such a remarkable work? Instead, no one seems to know where the animation came from.

 

II. It was made by another company LEGO was considering to work on Mask of Light

There is considerable logic in this. However, it is important to note that the animation has a distinct 2001 style to it, not 2003. I have already mentioned the set-accurate Lewa, but the environment and fauna in the animation all evoke thoughts of Mata-Nui as we saw it in BIONICLE's first year, and not later.

 

III. It was a test animation made by Ghost and Advance

Since it feels like a 2001 animation, it makes sense to guess it was a test for a 2001 animation. But look:

 

Image 7

Image 8

 

Image 9

Image 10

 

Here we have a few screenshots comparing the Infected Lewa Animation to the final GCI Lewa animation by Advance and Ghost. We can see that there are distinct differences in the way the environments are created.

 

IV. This is a test animation for the cancelled BIONICLE movie

I daresay this is within the realm of possibility. Templar Studios informed us some time ago that LEGO did have plans for a 2001 film at some point. We have no idea how far they proceeded with the project, but there is some possibility they got as far as a test animation such as this.

 

 

Although it remains unclear what its origins truly are, I believe we can safely conclude that the Infected Lewa Animation has nothing to do with Mask of Light or Miramax.


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#2 Online ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Jan 27 2013 - 11:48 PM

I'd always assumed it was done by Ghost/Advance. Hadn't really thought to look into the details that way. Interesting.

 

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#3 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 05:21 AM

It was explained somewhere on another website, long ago, where this animation came from. I believe it was the winner of a contest of some kind, possible an animating contest. I'm not sure, though. Someone would have to dig up the site, but I doubt it will be easy.


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#4 Offline Gatanui

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 09:12 AM

[color=#990000;]I'd have assumed this was a test animation by another company applying for the production of MoL. Weren't there originally plans for a movie in 2002, though? This could be a test for that.[color=#000080;]-Gata Posted Image[/color][/color]
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#5 Offline Pereki

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Posted Jan 28 2013 - 06:59 PM

It was explained somewhere on another website, long ago, where this animation came from. I believe it was the winner of a contest of some kind, possible an animating contest. I'm not sure, though. Someone would have to dig up the site, but I doubt it will be easy.

Interesting. I'll have to do some searching to see if I can find that site. Do you happen to remember if this was on a BIONICLE fan site or not?

 

I guess that would mean that this was a fan animation after all. It is quite odd that whoever made it was serious enough of a BIONICLE fan to make it in the first place, but yet hasn't been around in the last several years to clarify the animation's origins.

 

[color=#990000;]I'd have assumed this was a test animation by another company applying for the production of MoL. Weren't there originally plans for a movie in 2002, though? This could be a test for that.[color=#000080;]-Gata Posted Image[/color][/color]

I've never heard of a 2002 movie, but I could easily have missed something. It's a definite possibility for the animation's origins if the film was planned, though (although, according to Toatapio Nuva, we can probably assume the animation is fan made at this point). Do you remember where you heard about the movie?


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#6 Online ~The 1st Shadow~

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 03:07 AM

It was explained somewhere on another website, long ago, where this animation came from. I believe it was the winner of a contest of some kind, possible an animating contest. I'm not sure, though. Someone would have to dig up the site, but I doubt it will be easy.

Interesting. I'll have to do some searching to see if I can find that site. Do you happen to remember if this was on a BIONICLE fan site or not?

 

I guess that would mean that this was a fan animation after all. It is quite odd that whoever made it was serious enough of a BIONICLE fan to make it in the first place, but yet hasn't been around in the last several years to clarify the animation's origins.

 

[color=#990000;]I'd have assumed this was a test animation by another company applying for the production of MoL. Weren't there originally plans for a movie in 2002, though? This could be a test for that.[color=#000080;]-Gata Posted Image[/color][/color]

I've never heard of a 2002 movie, but I could easily have missed something. It's a definite possibility for the animation's origins if the film was planned, though (although, according to Toatapio Nuva, we can probably assume the animation is fan made at this point). Do you remember where you heard about the movie?

 

If it is a fan-made animation, I would never have guessed. It seemed too much like something from Ghost.This is the first I've heard of any plans for a 2002 movie, as well. I don't recall ever finding anything concerning a movie before Mask of Light. When was it ever announced that it was being considered? This has sparked my curiosity greatly.

 

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#7 Offline Gatanui

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 10:40 AM

[color=#990000;]I believe I heard something about there being plans in 2001 to release a DTV movie in 2002 and a theatrical movie in 2003. I think I read about them in some sort of press release from LEGO, but it could be quite hard to find.[color=#000080;]-Gata Posted Image[/color][/color]
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#8 Offline Dual Cee

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 11:47 AM

I did find the first one, but where can I find the second animation?


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#9 Offline Pereki

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Posted Jan 29 2013 - 05:50 PM

If it is a fan-made animation, I would never have guessed. It seemed too much like something from Ghost.This is the first I've heard of any plans for a 2002 movie, as well. I don't recall ever finding anything concerning a movie before Mask of Light. When was it ever announced that it was being considered? This has sparked my curiosity greatly.

 

Posted Image

As for the 2001 movie, Templar Studios revealed that there had been plans for it on their blog. Seeing as we never heard anything about it before then, I think we can safely assume that it was cancelled at a very early stage in planning.

 

[color=#990000;]I believe I heard something about there being plans in 2001 to release a DTV movie in 2002 and a theatrical movie in 2003. I think I read about them in some sort of press release from LEGO, but it could be quite hard to find.[color=#000080;]-Gata Posted Image[/color][/color]

Perhaps you are thinking of the original trilogy of BIONICLE movies? Close to when Mask of Light was first announced back in 2002, it was said that LEGO was planning a theatrical film for 2004. Later, this film (Legends of Metru-Nui) was lowered to the status of direct-to-video, and LEGO announced that their third film (slated for 2005, became Web of Shadows) would be theatrical. Presumably due to lower than expected sales, this became direct-to-video as well.

 

I did find the first one, but where can I find the second animation?

I am not sure to which one you are referring. The Infected Lewa Animation can be found on a popular video site by searching for it's title, for the other one, try searching "Mask of Light Trailer."


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#10 Offline Toatapio Nuva

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Posted Jan 30 2013 - 10:24 AM

The site where this animation originally came from was not a Bionicle site, I think. But as I already said, I am not certain. It was a news article of some kind, and there were many other game- and movie-related news items there, outside of Lego. And I could swear they were talking about the video as a winner of some contest.

 

Still, I understand that the animation does seem like it was made by ghost. It doesn't look like a fan-made animation. It may be that the news that came with the animation talked about another type of contest, or maybe it could have even mentioned the movies TLG was planning to make? We can't be sure unless we find that website again. Good luck digging it out from the dephts of the "old" internet. :P


Edited by Toatapio Nuva, Jan 30 2013 - 10:27 AM.

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