Oscars 2020: ‘Klaus’: Spain caresses the Oscar for best animated film | Culture

In the video, animator Carlos Martínez tells how 'Klaus' was made.

Wednesday morning in The SPA Studios. A few hours before the Hollywood Academy has closed the Oscar vote. For Klaus, the Spanish Oscar-winning animated film in its category, Luck is already cast until Sunday. The phrase manida causes nervous laughter among the few workers left in the study of Sergio Pablos (its acronym gives name to the company), which occupies a floor of a bland office building on the outskirts of Madrid, at the junction of the A-6 motorway with the M-40 ring road. There are barely two dozen people where for three years they were almost 300, from 22 countries and 15 languages. Who knows the animation industry knows that its members travel from country to country, behind the projects.

In Sergio Pablos Animation you can see the huge empty running tables, and on the walls there is a printed drawing of Klaus, the film co-produced by Atresmedia Cine and Netflix that touches the golden statuette after winning Seven Annie (the Oscars of animation) and the Bafta in its category. In one corner, all kinds of film paraphernalia, including a life-size sled and dolls, for promotion. In the room of the dailies, where the daily work was projected sits Carlos Martínez, 41, from Madrid, who has a hard time defining his position. According to Imdb, the great cinema database, appears as co-director. "They are things for the foreigner. I have been an artistic production assistant, where Sergio did not arrive as coordinator," says the animator, becoming the voice of his boss in his absence: "I was the Goya while that night he He led the team at the Annie. It was amazing, because we won in all the nominations we competed in. Seven out of seven. Sergio continued with the campaign in the US, the weekend he traveled to London to the Bafta, and returned to the US ". Hence, also, the emptiness of the facilities. "It is that the head of study is there from prize to prize, and we have not yet started the next one," Martínez concludes with a laugh.

Pablos, a 50-year-old from Madrid, is one of the best-known Spanish names in world animation. He started at Disney studios in Paris, and from there he went to the headquarters in California. He encouraged Frollo's characters in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, from Hades in Hercules, of Tantor the elephant in Tarzan and from doctor Doppler in The treasure Planet. Of all of them there are several posters on the walls of the rooms of his study. He left Disney to be able to direct his own films. Man of inexhaustible inspiration, his are the original ideas of Gru, my favorite villain, whose concept sold to Universal, and of Smallfoot He also worked in River. In the office you can see many dolls of the minions, and some drawing of the Brazilian parrots. "It is very difficult to raise the financing of an animated film from Spain," conceded his partner. And that's why he insists on taking care of that category in the Goya. “We were only three films, because in this past season only those lengths of drawings were made. However, each title has its merit and has passed different penalties. ” Klaus, Nominated for two awards of the Spanish Academy of Cinema, he failed to win the best song or the one in his category, which finally won Buñuel in the labyrinth of the turtles,from Salvador Simó.

"I stress that each project passes its difficulties. In Klaus Atresmedia Cine began production, but more money was needed, "Martínez says. Netflix joined the second opportunity (there was a first rejection), and thus the 40 million euros of budget were achieved." People do not know how hard it It is to make an animated film. As Sergio says, for all Christmas they are from Disney: between Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel ... Instead, Netflix was looking for a movie for this season, and what was once a problem ended up being the best weapon of Klaus".

Klaus was born from an idea of ​​Pablos of 2010. Among several projects, he decided to create the origins of mythical characters. The first one he thought of was Santa Claus. "And he was the first to banish," Martínez explains. "Some time later he thought of a cynical turn, and found the different point of view, with the character of the postman, scoundrel, selfish, which causes the opposite, generosity, through a carpenter, Klaus." That selfish redeemed reminds Gru. "True, Sergio will have to be asked about that unconscious relationship." On the production, he points out: "It has been a long time since a 2D movie of this quality level was made, with which each animator faces a blank screen by hand drawing, because the current animation turns to the three dimensions, with a character already created. We have innovated in the lighting so that the concept taken care of the first drawings was maintained ".

Martínez, as a member of the traveling tribe of the animators, had already agreed with Pablos in Chico and Rita, the film by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, the first Spanish long Oscar nominated for animation, a category that was created in 2002. "So we are already part of that milestone," he jokes. They also worked together in Table football (2013), by Juan José Campanella, in which Pablos dealt with the Argentine filmmaker's inability to understand the times of animation. "When three years ago I finished The magic park at Ilion Studios [gran empresa madrileña de animación]I wrote to Sergio to see what he was with, "Martínez recalls." I thought he would offer me some animator and instead he hired me as a coordinator because Klaus I was growing a lot. "

And how close is the Oscar? "No one ever thought about the awards. However, it seems that doing quality work carries its reward," says Martinez. A small group of workers analyzes the rivals: two come from majors (Toy Story 4 Y How to train your dragon 3), there is one of stop motion of the Laika study (Mr. Link, who won the Golden Globe) and another French (Where is my body?). "It's very, very open," they agree. "There are chances".

The awards of a milestone in Spanish cinema

Sergio Pablos and producer Jinko Gotoh with Bafta.

Sergio Pablos and producer Jinko Gotoh with Bafta. Getty Images

The movie Klaus accumulates awards and nominations Among them, the most prominent are:

Seven Annie The Oscars of the animation surrendered on January 25 to the Spanish film, which took all the awards to which it was nominated: best film, production design, direction, storyboarding, character design, character animation and editorial work.

Bafta for best animated film. Last Sunday's prize came at the best time, when academics were still voting for the Oscars.

In addition, she has been a candidate for two Goya (animation and song length), and for critics' awards in Denver, Austin, San Francisco, Detroit, Washington ...


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