In the works since 1986
It started as an animation test for our assistants during our time at Swan Film in Copenhagen in 1986, two years before we founded A. Film. The test was "draw poses with different personalities for a fish, a starfish and a jellyfish." That was all. One of the first ideas we had for a feature film - see my previous post - was a film with these three characters basically commenting on the state of pollution under the sea. A few years later we cooked up the bit about three kids meeting a professor and being inadvertently changed into fish, and in 1996 we produced a two-minute pilot with symphonic score that financially sealed the deal. Terry Jones voiced the professor, Alan Rickman a megalomaniac pilot fish, the bad guy.
Because of the scope of the film, it eventually was a European co-production between our studio A. Film, German Münich Animation and TerraGlyph in Ireland, where Münich did much of the cleanups and coloring and TerraGlyph did some layout and the sound. We kept control, direction and much of the animation and styling were done in-house. We also had a few other studios help us with animation, including our own A. Film Estonia.
For this production I devised a system where Amiga Take-2 line tests, sent to us from all over the world in emails, were automatically unpacked and converted to OMF files for import in an AVID system. For nearly two years, the converting computer, a little IBM Aptiva that the finance department did not want to use because it was too small and too old, converted the thousands of scenes in different versions perfectly, and two weeks after the last scene was processed it died, in a little white cloud of burned-up electronics.
Above drawing is again one I picked up in our storage, a more unusual view (click on it and see WHY!) I suspect it is a gag drawing, though I do not know who drew it (yet).