Character Design in ‘Vivo,’ ‘Boss Baby 2,’ ‘Poupelle of Chimney Town’ – The Srdtf News

Character Design in ‘Vivo,’ ‘Boss Baby 2,’ ‘Poupelle of Chimney Town’ – The Hollywood Reporter

Filmmakers describe the looks of their favorite characters, including Gabi from Vivo, Dr. Armstrong in Boss Baby: Family Business and Poupelle from Poupelle of Chimney Town.

Gabi (Vivo, Sony Pictures Animation/Netflix)

Noting that the musical story of Vivo, a Lin-Manuel Miranda-voiced kinkajou, is about how to move past grief, director and co-writer Kirk DiMicco notes that ”there are times we must learn to sing a new song” and that sparked the introduction Gabi, the 9-year-old (voiced by Ynairaly Simo), with whom Vivo goes on a journey. “We envisioned Gabi as a character whose design and ethos was the polar opposite of Vivo, and the world he was used to. Where Vivo is the epitome of control, Gabi represents chaos,” he explains. “Our writer Quiara Hudes, who created the character, wanted her to be drawn like a real girl with body diversity. It was important for us to showcase a strong independent female character whose individuality was reflected in every design choice. We liked the idea that she had an asymmetrical haircut because she probably cut her own hair in the mirror and probably dyed her hair purple herself with her own chalk in the bathroom. And Gabi, who is not by any means a cookie-cutter heroine as she is a little rounder than most kids in animated movies, is always 100 percent perfectly comfortable in her own skin. In fact, that was the inspiration for the decidedly un-princess anthem Lin wrote for her in ‘My Own Drum.’ Gabi is not a girl yearning for the world to accept her, because she accepts herself.“

Vivo
Courtesy of SPAI

Dr. Armstrong (The Boss Baby: Family Business, DreamWorks Animation/Universal)

The villain is DWA’s Boss Baby sequel is the Jeff Goldblum-voiced Dr. Erwin Armstrong Ph.D., who is billed as the smartest baby in the world. “We wanted to capture his eccentric charm even though he plays the villain to our Boss Baby,” says director Tom McGrath. “Armstrong has a big, expressive mouth because he’s a talker and a big candy eater, thus his slightly ‘Rubenesque’ baby body. Armstrong masquerades as an adult to hide his little secret. His professor persona wears a wig, eyebrows, fake teeth and mutton chops to help him fool all the parents.” The biggest challenge of this disguise, relates production designer Raymond Zibach, is the robot body he drives around. “These mechanics were inspired by Terminator while his silhouette is reminiscent of characters like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum,” he says. “The tubby body creates a nice cockpit for a baby to sit in and use the controls while the skinny legs give him the height and maneuverability we needed for animation. To complete his design we dressed him in a tux with tails for the climax and big final brawl.”

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Boss Baby: Family Business
Courtesy of Dreamworks Animation

Poupelle (Poupelle of Chimney Town, STUDIO4ºC/Eleven Arts) 

In this animated film, a young boy lives among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, yearning to see the stars. One Halloween night, he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage, and their adventure begins. “In the story, garbage symbolizes dreams people have thrown away. The sky above Chimney Town is completely blocked from view by the smoke created from the burning of the town’s garbage,” explains director Yusuke Hirota, through a translator. “For those who have given up on their dreams, Poupelle, a man born from garbage and made of garbage, is an unwelcome and unpleasant presence — something the people of Chimney Town simply do not want to see. But dreams — pure, innocent, unpredictable — can sometimes make us brave, and our Poupelle also symbolizes this power of dreams. Made up of things that smell old and evoke nostalgia, we designed Poupelle to be familiar.”

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Poupelle of Chimney Town
Courtesy of Studio 4°C

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