Hey folks! I saw Kung Fu Panda 2 the other day and felt inspired to do my take on a potential bad guy character. I was telling my friends how I liked that the villain in the new film was not an obvious animal choice. In the first one you had an intimidating beast but in the new film the baddie is a peacock but somehow I think it works. The peacock at first might look harmless and physically incapable of challenging Po but he is always out there diligently trying to kill him which makes feel a bit psychotic for placing his mission to defeat our hero ahead of his own capability to match him. From a talk with my friends I suggested trying to come up with another enemy lined to grapple with Po. I wanted to go with another animal that naturally doesnt fit the bill of being a bad guy and is rooted in Chinese tradition too. I had a Chinese figurine of a three-legged frog on my desk which gave me this idea. There are elements of a kirin with its head design and piercings that echo the rings on the 9 ringed broadsword. One of the difficulty with this character design was working around the toad's sunken head. It would have been preferable to give the head a clear silhouette which can help the character emote but I tried to work round this and frame the head as much as I can.
Last week I was at the Annecy animation festival. It was my 5th year in a row there! As always I loved being there and meeting people with a common interest and ambition. One of these days I shall have to learn the language since I frequent France so much! Will next year be a 6th year in a row?