Teddy bears, unicorns, bloodshed, oh my! That’s what Alberto Vázquez plans to bring to the silver screen in his next movie, Unicorn Wars. The newly revealed poster, as well as the trailer, can be viewed below.
The film takes place during an ongoing war between two races, teddy bears and unicorns. The religious teddy bears believe that it is their spiritual duty to eradicate the unicorns. Meanwhile, the unicorns are presented as protectors of the forest, fighting the teddy bears as they threaten the forest. Stuck in the middle of the conflict are two brothers, Bluey and Tubby, who go through military training together. Also stuck in the middle is a unicorn named Maria, who is also trying to survive the war after being separated from her mother.
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When they’re sent into the magical forest to search for a missing squad, things get ugly. One of the film’s producers, Iván Miñambres, described the film as a mix between Bambi and Apocalypse Now. The film is directed by Alberto Vázquez, who’s previous film is 2015’s Psiconautas (Birdboy: The Forgotten Children). Vázquez explains in an interview with Variety that he used a lot of wisdom gained from Birdboy into the production of Unicorn Wars.
“I didn’t want to make the same mistake I did with ‘Psiconautas’ where I did the whole storyboard myself and was exhausted. This time we were a team of five, so I could focus more on directing the film.”
From Birds to Bears
Unicorn Wars is a collaboration film, with production coming from Uniko (Spain), Schumby (France) and Abano (Spain). Vázquez is no stranger to these teams, they’re the same line-up that produced his award-winning short Decorado. Technical Supervisor, Fiona Cohen, expressed the challenges that came with handling a production that was being put together across different countries.
“We had to understand and interpret Alberto’s style without getting too complicated across different studios. It’s not just distance and language barrier, but we don’t have the same habits.”
Judging from the trailer, it seems as if all the hard work and dedication paid off! Cohen explained that all of the animators on the team were taught how to use Grease Pencil, which is a tool in Blender that allows users to achieve a 2D animated look in a 3D space. She went onto state the positives of using an open-source tool like Blender. Every time there was an advancement or update in the program, it was available to everyone on the team equally. The crew also developed a universal communication technique, so that language barriers were less of a challenge among members of the team.
Unicorn Wars is not far off from completing production. Miñambres stated during a presentation that the film is just a few weeks away from completion. They hope to have it as a candidate for the Annecy Animation Festival in June. While there is currently no news of distribution in the United States for Unicorn Wars, Birdboy was acquired by GKIDS for a DVD and Blu-ray release in 2018, so it’s likely Unicorn Wars will have a similar distribution. This is a project worth keeping an eye out for, whether you’re a fan of adult animation or animation in general. It’s always a treat to see filmmakers take bright colors and give them an edge, especially when it’s as sharp as the horn of a unicorn!
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Caroline is a longtime admirer of film, music and the arts. She’s been giving movie opinions online (warranted or not) for over a decade, and putting those thoughts to Movieweb since early 2021.
From Caroline Miller