สนับสนุนโดย สำนักงานศิลปวัฒนธรรมร่วมสมัย กระทรวงวัฒนธรรม Supported by Office of Contemporary Art And Culture ,Ministry Of Culture

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Echo Planet: A Convenient Truth
  By Sorradithep Supachanya /3 August 2012
 

 

 

In many ways, Echo Planet, Thailands latest computer generated animated film, is an imperfect movie. Its plot is muddled, its characters are unidentifiable, and its overly simplistic message dilutes what could have been a fun and educational family feature into a forgettable Saturday morning television cartoon for elementary school children.

Yet, from a wider perspective, this movie marks an important step in the development of the Thai animation industry and the education of our future generation about global warming in at least three ways. And that alone deserves applause.

Firstly, its stereoscopic technology responsible for the eye-popping 3D animation, the first in Thai animated cinema, is bridging the gap with the Hollywood wonders. Viewers can find themselves immersed in the protagonists many adventures through the verdant grasslands, urban sprawls, and metropolis mayhems. Like Khan Kluay, Thailands first computer generated animated feature released locally in 2006, also by the same director and studio, Echo Planet announces the arrival of Thailand on the international movie scene.

Secondly, producers of Echo Planet deliberately internationalize the movie, setting the story in modern New York-liked megacity with American-sounding character names and ubiquitous English-language signs. Unlike the seventeenth century Thai backdrop of Khan Kluay, the audience needs no historical knowledge to understand the plot of Echo Planet. True, one of the protagonists belongs to a Southeast Asian long-necked tribe, one of the few Thai elements in the film, but this fact does not play an important part in how the plot unfolds. Broadening the audience appeal is a clever strategic move if the distributing Kantana studio hopes to sell the movie outside Thailand.

 

 

Thirdly, Echo Planet is one of the few entertainment vehicles of any medium that tackles the pressing issue of global warming. Set in the near future when our uncontrolled fossil-fuel appetite has transmogrified the greenhouse gasses into a fiery monster intent on destroying the earth, a rural young boy with spiritual connections to the plants and animals must make his way to the capital city to warn the leaders before its too late to save the world.

Yes, the science is laughable and the solution is disappointingly narrow (no mentions of recycling, planting trees, using fuel-efficient modes of transportation, or any other ways to reduce global warming). But nevertheless this movie offers a start.

While less audacious than Pixars WALL-E and not as adorable as Universals The Lorax, Kantana Studios Echo Planet is a commendable foray into 3D animation and a good first effort in raising in Thailand the much-needed awareness of the timely environmental problems that impact us all.

   

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