It can be easily understood for something like The Thief where many scenes were re-shot like censoring the spike in the Dying Soldier, but for this is like there must've been a mess to organize the material to send it to Hungary, as there are character animation flat out missing, and the previously mentioned effects, there might also be the case with sending them the animation drawings but not the actual cels as many scenes were also completely re-done.
There are some stuff in here too I've yet to see:
https://web.archive.org/web/20070529080 ... ntactus.cf
Message: Of all the movies you've made, what's the one you're the least proud of and why?
Reply: James, That's a difficult question. We've had a few miss fires. Probably "The Pebble and the Penguin" is one of the low moments. The film was distributed by MGM/UA but apparently in the contract they had the right to "final cut" approval. The film was only about 80% animated, the balance was in storyboard form. The men that MGM/UA sent in, had issues with the story, the voice recording, the humor, you name it. Don had already finished the storyboarding and the crew was very excited with the story and were in the crunch mode to complete the film. Gary & Don had already been signed by Fox to help create & head up a new Animation studio back in the U.S. Don went into story development on the Fox front, Gary remained in position to complete the direction and sweatboxing for Pebble, until the news came for story changes. Gary left the production as he knew they could not complete the film with all of the production values planned for it. This means that Gary was not there for the final direction of the character animation, special effx animation, color model approvals, the sound design, music spotting, final dubbing, color timing of the film or the color correct video mastering. We heard later that they even asked the voice actors to rerecord their parts for the film. Looking at the film on DVD today, drives home the point that a film has to be taken to the end by its creators. When you listen to the tracks, the film feels flat, without the energy it once had. Also the color looks muddy and on the verge of RED, a horrible color when put to video (there is a lot of "bleeding" of color and it causes the other colors to appear somewhat less vibrant). The crew, who had come to Fox with Don and Gary advised them not to see the film. Don and Gary did everything they could legally to remove their names from the film. In the end, the distributors argued and won, to keep the title "A Don Bluth Ireland LTD Presentation" at the head of the film. However, if you review the credits, you will see that there is no "Directed by" credit. The production manager, Russel Bowland was credited as the producer. Fair play to him, he faced an impossible task to get the film fininshed. The story is based on the fact that male Adeli Penguins actually find a pebble and offer it to the female of their choice. If she accepts, they are mated for life. We loved the idea of animating the penguins and thought that the character Rocko, played by Jim Belushi, would be the favorite among the viewers. We really enjoyed working with Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman for the songs and music. In the end, the final product looks so dismal, even with some very nice animation. The original Backgrounds and colored cels are actually brilliantly stunning to look at. The fact that the color was not attended to, at the film and video stages, makes it very difficult to watch. Neither Don, nor Gary have watched the final product through its entirety. It's painful. Didn't really want to share this info. Thanks for writing. Regards.
Reply Posted: 04/04/2003