Giant space-chicken movie progressing nicely

Hugo-winning science fiction artist Frank Wu sez,

We are continuing our efforts to make a full-length animated film with half a dozen people + many, many years. This is a sampler video of characters and spaceships from our "Guidolon the Giant Space Chicken," which is a film about a giant space chicken making a film about a giant space chicken.

The animation is still "in-process," but it's a nice intro to Guidolon the Giant Space Chicken and film director, Trisuron the giant space Triceratops and movie actress/producer, Jerora the giant space jellyfish and production manager, and their enemy, Fribugus, the giant space pangolin and movie studio lackey.

The phrase "giant space chicken" underlies the existential angst of the piece, as "giant" is what we hope to become, "chicken" is what we fear we are, and "space" is the amorphous place where we float without a hand-hold, trying to define ourselves before others define us first.

For more information, check out the director's blog

This thing is pure Wu: so weird, arch, and goofy that it would take a week to explain it to a civilian. Go Frank, go!

Guidolon the Giant Space Chicken Sampler Video (Thanks, Frank!)


  1. Even better, it’s got leafy sea dragons, what looks like a giant robot space diatom, and a space millepede – all set in the strange futuristic world of 1977!

    After seeing the triceratops I was worried, but the giant space pangolin isn’t significantly anthropomorphized. He could be greener and more pine-coney, but maybe the vacuum of space has killed off his algae coating.

  2. Um…this looks TERRIBLE.

    Not trying to be a dick, but six people + many, many years = a project that’s almost certainly doomed.

    Especially one with a thinner-than-Howard-the-Duck premise and visuals that are below even the (also awful) Tripping the Rift.

    I don’t see any story here, just some wireframe 3D demos, poorly matched 2D art, and a surf guitar soundtrack.

    Looks particularly rough when contrasted with the sublime short “Big Buck Bunny”, which took seven people less than one year.

    1. @bruceglick: why don’t you show us the movie that you’ve been making in your spare time and we’ll see how it compares to Frank’s?

      1. Sure!

        Cartoon stuff:
        Paintings etc:

        Of course, it’s apples and oranges, and not at all intended to be a contest. I LOVE art and animation, but I’d never attempt to make a movie alone OR with a crew of six.

        I am qualified to have an opinion, right? Did I pass *your* test?

        Or maybe I’m not, and I should just say how awesome it all looks and how I’m sure it’ll be a great film etc.

        Please, Brainspore, guide my typing hand…

        1. Of course you’re entitled to an opinion, but for someone who claims that they’re “not trying to be a dick” you certainly could have fooled me by the way you chose to express it.

    2. Agreed. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it that Wu PROUDLY presented at various Worldcons, the first in 2006 in Anaheim, and everything I sat through was unwatchable. Perhaps it’s just a matter of taste.

    3. Um…this looks TERRIBLE.

      Well, yeah, that’s kinda the point, innit?

      Watch “Manos, Hand of Fate” or better yet “The Wild World of Batwomen” on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and see if you enjoy it. If not, you should avoid Wu’s cartoon like the plague – it’s never going to be your cuppa.

      “And now the Manos Women’s Guild will re-enact the BATTLE OF PEARL HARBOR…”

      1. “Watch “Manos, Hand of Fate” or better yet “The Wild World of Batwomen” on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and see if you enjoy it.”

        Dude, I watch MST3K every*single*day.

        I get it.

        This has none of the qualities that MST’s just bad.

        See, Roger Corman was TRYING to make good movies, and MST mocks him (or whatever director) at every turn. Here, (and I have to take your word on this) the point seems to be to make a bad movie on purpose?!?

        I can’t even tell..what little premise mentioned sounds like very late night, “I just smoked bonghit #785 WHOA DUDE THE SPACE CHICKEN IS MAKING A MOVIE ABOUT A SPACE CHICKEN” goofiness that should have been discarded immediately the next morning.

        Joel (or Mike) and the bots make me roll around crying with laughter, and this made me immediately depressed and wondering whatever happened to even the loosest standards of what constitutes a worthwhile project to start, much less promote all over the web.

        By year four (five? six?), if all you have is this, go ahead and quit your project. It’s cool, you probably learned a lot, you’ll be much better prepared next time, etc.

        But any freshness, originality, or momentum that you did have for the project will most likely dissipate over the coming months and years, it will look dated, and it will suck.

        No shame, nothing. It’s happened to thousands of film projects, games, or social movements.

        You’re trying to be great and you’re afraid you’re a big chicken? Guess which one it’ll be.

        1. Ah, you see where I was going then!

          I would like it even better with the rubber suits technogeek suggested, personally. I am imagining a cheesy rubber giant space pangolin suit right now.

    1. And HELL YES, the storyboards, sketches, and work of individual artists is good and cool. Suzanne Forbes drawings in particular are really nice, IMO.

      It’s just when I hear six people are making a movie I feel pretty much the same way I feel when I hear six people are planning on buying the space shuttle and heading to Mars.

      Good luck, guys!

  3. Before anyone disses this project too badly, they really should understand the script it’s based on. *PARODY*, folks. So-bad-it’s-good-again. (If you don’t mind it being a spoiler for the film, the script was published as a short story and is findable. And some of the stage directions, which presumably won’t make it into the film, are a hoot.)

    I had the pleasure of reading the role of Guidolon in an ad-hoc performance when Frank was GOH at a local convention. With virtually no publicity and very little advance prep — basically just sitting down in the con suite with scripts and starting to perform — we drew and held a nontrivial crowd.

    I’m not wild about the animation approach chosen, but given the material, it’s not inappropriate. I’d have preferred something more realistic that referenced the original rubber-suit monster films, rather than the sorta saturday-morning feel that they seem to have gone for in this production. But this is a valid direction to take it, and there’s something to be said for not letting “best” drive out “good enough”. Besides, one can always do a remake later.

  4. The 2D stuff looks neat – reminiscent of Fantastic Planet? Not a huge fan of CG, especially cheap-looking CG, but the monster and ship designs look radicool. If it’s a nice parody like Venture Bros., or maybe something even more absurd, who cares if it ends up looking a little primitive. But, if it’s an unfunny send-up of classic B-material, that would be disappointing, wouldn’t it?

  5. @brucegulick: Guy, you don’t get it. Sorry about that. Let the people who do be happy that they have something fun to watch.

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