War of the Worlds: Goliath (US-[in production for 2010]; dir. Joe Pearson) is “a 90-minute, animated, steampunk epic of war, comradeship and courage under fire”, based on H.G. Wells’ iconic Martian invasion novel, War of the Worlds. (See Robot War Espresso for our previous article on it, including lots of artwork.)
The basic scenario?
In 1900, the Earth was attacked by ruthless invaders from the planet Mars. The Martian’s 80 ft tall, heat-ray spewing, Tripod battle machines laid waste to the planet, but the invaders ultimately fell prey to Earth’s tiny bacteria.
Fourteen years later, Man has rebuilt his shattered world, in large part by utilizing captured Martian technology. Equipped with giant, steam-powered Tripod battle machines, the international rapid reaction force, A.R.E.S., is Mankind’s first line of defense against the return of the rapacious Martian invaders. Based in a massive fortress complex at the south end of Manhattan Island, the young warriors of A.R.E.S. train under the leadership of Secretary of War, Theodore Roosevelt, and the grim General Kushnirov.
And return the Martians do. The rematch finds the multinational squad of the A.R.E.S. battle Tripod “Goliath” on the front-lines of a vicious interplanetary offensive when the Martian invaders launch their second invasion using even more advanced alien technology. In the crucible of combat, this young team helming the mighty Goliath will be tested to the limits of their endurance and courage as they fight for Mankind’s very survival under the onslaught of an implacable enemy. (HeavyMetal)
The film’s steampunk aesthetics look great, as does the animation now that we have a chance to see it in a just released trailer. Check it out:
It’s not hard to see the influence of Japanese anime in this — not that that’s a problem. War of the Worlds: Goliath certainly looks to be of the highest quality. In the end, whether the scripting proves to be equally successful will determine where the movie will fit in the pantheon of scifi animation, the upper echelons of which are at present dominated by the Japanese.
Produced by Tripod Entertainment, War of the Worlds: Goliath is being directed by animation veteran Joe Pearson (Epoch Ink Animation), and written by accomplished wordsmith, David Abramowitz (Highlander). Featuring the voice talents of Adrian Paul, Peter Wingfield, Adam Baldwin, Elizabeth Gracen, Jim Byrnes and many others, the movie is being storyboarded and designed by an international team of top artists and designers, and is being animated in a state-of-the art combination of CG and traditional cel animation in Seoul, South Korea. Audio and video post-production including music score, sound design, voice direction, mixing, visual effects and editing will be done by the best studios in Southeast Asia, Imaginex Studios and BaseCamp Films. (HeavyMetal)
Behind the Scenes: can be accessed from this page.