Wondering how difficult was it for the creators of Detective Pikachu to get him looking just right? Thanks to the film’s VFX supervisor Pete Dionne, we now have further insight into the challenges that arose for the film.
In a recent interview with io9, Dionne elaborated on the finicky design process for the movie’s CGI star, played by Ryan Reynolds. In particular, Dionne highlights that they kept themselves grounded with Pikachu’s silhouette – thereby restricting the odds of betraying the electric rodent’s core design!
“Being the most recognizable and iconic Pokémon, and character designs, in the last few decades, he was probably the most difficult character [to get right] from the point of, ‘How much do we bend his design before he no longer looks like Pikachu?’. Other characters, there’s a little more leeway poking through than with Pikachu—the slightest deviation from the original TV design and he stopped looking like Pikachu. Knowing that we’re throwing fur on him and putting Ryan Reynolds’ snarky personality in him, how were we going to find the balance?
It became really clear that we needed to embrace every single aspect of that design, the original 2D design, as possible. So, as we were designing him, we started with just the silhouette of Pikachu, and fundamentally, we chose no matter what we come up with, we’re not going to change the silhouette. From the very beginning of our process, building him out, we were always comparing him against that original design.”
It looks like we have Dionne and his team to thank for the film’s Pokemon looking so solid. If you want to see just how solid we’re talking about, you can now catch Detective Pikachu at your local theater.