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2008 to Today: Celebrate these five iconic Technicolor films turning 15!

May 12, 2023

In honor of these major movie milestones, we look back at a selection of Technicolor projects celebrating their 15-year anniversaries. Grab your flip phones as we return to 2008. These five films represent the best of their time, from original prints to the use of the most innovative VFX technology.

Kung Fu Panda

Coming out of DreamWorks Pictures, Kung Fu Panda was the sixth highest grossing movie of the year with over 30 million tickets sold. The animated film follows, Po, a seemingly clumsy and awkward panda with a passion for Kung Fu. The movie is set in a version of ancient China with various animal characters taking the place of people. When the villain, Tai Lung – a notoriously vicious snow leopard, escapes from prison, Po, to his own and others’ surprise, it chosen as protector of the Valley of Peace. He must hone his skills, master his fears, and ultimately face off with Tai Lung for the sake of everyone he cares about.  

For the film, Technicolor was able to create the movie prints using their laboratory in Hollywood. Fast forward to today and Mikros Animation is a part of animating the television series, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight. The series follows Po when leaving his home and embarks on finding the four elemental weapons that broke up the world a long time ago. The first season was revealed on Netflix in July of 2022, and the second season was released 6 months later in January 2023. 

Asterix at the Olympic Games 

This film is the third installment in the movie series that follows the beloved French comic characters from Astrix the Gaul. In this adventure set in 52 BC, Astrix and Obélix become unlikely competitors in the Olympic Games. This time, though, Astrix cannot use the magic potion that gives him superhuman strength in his other adventures. For this epic story, Mikros Image (now MPC Paris) was asked to produce all the stunts- and games-related VFX, creating a total of 315 shots. 

Mamma Mia! 

Mamma Mia! was a 2008 musical and romantic comedy film based on the songs of pop group ABBA. The movie follows a bride-to-be as she (and her mother) tries to determine which of three potential men could be her father. The movie sold over 20 million tickets and was in the top 15 of the year. 

To help create musical magic, Technicolor was once again able to user their laboratory to provide digital intermediate and release printing for the film. 

Slumdog Millionaire 

Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British drama that tells the story of 18-year-old Jamal Malik from the Juhu slums of Mumbai, who surprises everyone by being able to answer every question on a television game show correctly. As a result, he wins $460,000 and is accused of cheating. Jamal recounts his life story to the police, illustrating how he is able to answer each question correctly using information from his past. The film won multiple Academy Awards, BAFTAs, Golden Globes, and Critic’s Choice Awards. 

MPC and Technicolor were able to create some of the VFX for the film, including interweaving film stocks from the SI-2K Digital Cinema Camera with digitally captured material back in the London digital lab. 

Narnia: Prince Caspian 

MPC provided nearly 900 animated character shots for Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media’s second installment of The Chronicles of Narnia franchise; Prince Caspian, directed by Academy Award nominee Andrew Adamson. Star of the digital cast is Reepicheep, a swashbuckling mouse-chief who leads a posse of mice into dangerous missions and daring castle raids. MPC’s art department provided Reepicheep’s design, concepting his facial features, body and carefully detailed fur. Reepicheep was voiced by Eddie Izzard, giving MPC’s animation department a bold guide for bringing the character to life. 

To learn more about the 107 years of iconic Technicolor work, visit our legacy page and scroll through our vault of major historical moments. 


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