All Aboard The Magic Roundabout
French animation studio Action Synthèse is currently in production on the upcoming CG feature THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT, using SOFTIMAGE|XSI to animate this remake of the '60s children's cult television series. THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT will star Australian pop star Kylie Minogue as Florence and fellow singer Robbie Williams as the world-weary dog Dougal, along with ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS star Joanna Lumley as Ermintrude the cow. Richard O'Brien, creator of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, will voice the spring-propelled Zebedee and Jim Broadbent (MOULIN ROUGE, IRIS) will portray Brian the snail. New characters, ZeeBadee and Soldier Sam, will be played by Tom Baker (DR. WHO) and Ray Winstone (SEXY BEAST), respectively. Action Synthèse transitioned its pipeline to the SOFTIMAGE|XSI environment two years into the project, which they found beneficial when it came time to create Dougal the dog's signature longhaired coat. Other SOFTIMAGE|XSI features that are being widely used on the film is the interactive renderer and the image-based lighting pass. Both are being used extensively in the snow bound setting of the film to re-create the unique feel of winter light and reflections. THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT is directed by Dave Borthwick, of the award-winning animation studio bolexbrothers. Pathé UK will distribute the film in the UK and France in 2004.