The latest big movie “Happy Superman’s Hero’s Heart” from the Cantonese animation IP “Happy Superman” will officially meet the audience on July 22. The director of the series, Huang Weiming, is both the “Father of Happy Superman” and the “Father of Pleasant Goat”. The two evergreen comics have grown up with countless small audiences. Among them, the more “younger” “Happy Superman” series has also been released for 12 years. over 1000 episodes.
“Happy Superman Hero’s Heart” finalized poster
The last “Happy Superman” movie “Happy Superman 2: The Battle of Kaiyuan” was released in 2014. After 8 years, “Happy Superman’s Hero Heart” tells the story of how “Superman who lost his superpowers” saves the planet. The screen is upgraded from two-dimensional to three-dimensional for the first time. Huang Weiming said that he wanted to convey a concept through this work: “Even if you don’t have superpowers, as long as you have a superhuman heart, you can overcome difficulties.” The enthusiastic response from the audience at the screening site confirmed the film’s initial success .
monsters in the movie
“In fact, the technology of many domestic cartoons is already very powerful, but we must first tell a down-to-earth story to move the audience.” Before the film was released, director Huang Weiming accepted an exclusive interview with a reporter from the Yangcheng Evening News. He said that in addition to borrowing traditional cultural elements, themes with a sense of science and technology and science fiction are also a road of innovation for Chinese comics.
Doctor Otaku and Superman
Big and little monsters
From 2D to 3D, fans can accept new changes
Yangcheng Evening News: This big movie is the first time the IP of “Happy Superman” has changed from two-dimensional to three-dimensional. Why do you want to make such a change?
Huang Weiming: Every creator wants to constantly break through himself. A lot of Hollywood films are constantly upgraded from 2D to 3D, and I wondered why we can’t make a blockbuster ourselves. Some technologies may not be able to reach a very high level, but from the perspective of screen presentation, we can rely on different storyboards and different emotional drives to attract audiences.
Yangcheng Evening News: In addition to “Happy Superman”, the “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf” series is also a two-dimensional animation, so this time is indeed a leap.
Huang Weiming: Yes, in terms of 3D technology, we were not familiar enough with it in the past. We encountered many unfamiliar links in the entire creative process, and we could only explore them little by little. There are also some detours in the middle, such as overturning after finishing a scene.
Yangcheng Evening News: In terms of time cost, how much time does it take to create from two-dimensional to three-dimensional?
Huang Weiming: The time investment should be two to three times that of the last big movie.
Yangcheng Evening News: From two-dimensional to three-dimensional, the appearance of Happy Superman has also changed, for example, the limbs have become more slender, how is the acceptance of the fans in the screening room?
Huang Weiming: The original Superman is a two-headed body, and now I feel that I have grown into a young man. We all feel that since we want to do three-dimensional, it must be different from the past. In fact, there are some other small changes in their appearance, such as the double ponytail of Sweetheart Superman has become a single ponytail. I was worried that fans would not be used to it at first glance. In fact, when I shared their caricatures on Weibo, some people said they didn’t fit in. But after really seeing what the 3D Happy Superman looks like, everyone thinks it’s so handsome again. Therefore, fans can accept some new changes, don’t worry too much.
Yangcheng Evening News: Since the IP was born 12 years ago, the audience has grown up and the society has continued to develop. What has been the same in the “Happy Superman” series, and what do you want to change?
Huang Weiming: The presentation form may change, but the characters, emotions, and humor will not change.
Huang Weimin holding hands happy Superman
Superman is not always right, villains have cute sides too
Yangcheng Evening News: This big movie has been polished for many years. In addition to the pictures, did you spend a lot of time on the plot?
Huang Weiming: Indeed, we have been grinding this story for a long time, and we have made several versions of the script. In fact, we continued to tweak the plot right up to the final production stage.
Yangcheng Evening News: What should Superman do if he loses his superpowers? How did you come up with this main setting?
Huang Weiming: Everyone used to think that Superman was powerful because they had superpowers, but what if they lost their superpowers? This story is to tell everyone that even if you don’t have superpowers, as long as you have a superhuman heart, you can overcome difficulties and help the planet. We are all ordinary people in our lives, and none of us have superpowers, so I think this story should be able to inspire many people.
Yangcheng Evening News: What do supermen do after they are “unemployed”? Have you thought about a lot of settings?
Huang Weiming: For example, Sweetheart, cooking in the TV version is hard to eat, but now we have decided to let her become a chef through her own efforts. We also thought about whether Superman would be miserable after being “unemployed”, living on the streets, waiting for the protagonist to “catch” everyone back, but then we still didn’t want to do it. In addition to Sweetheart becoming the “God of Cooking”, Careful Superman has also become a Careful Detective, and Faithful Superman has become an actor. Although everyone has a sense of loss in their hearts, they still face their lives bravely.
Yangcheng Evening News: In addition to the supermen, the villains in this story, such as the big monster general and the little monster corporal, are very popular with the audience. What’s your trick when it comes to creating villains?
Huang Weiming: I have always felt that villains in animation should also have a fun side and not be too face-lifting. Why did he become such a big badass? Many times he is not born, and various factors affect him in the growth process, he will also have a mental journey, and even occasionally have a cute side.
Yangcheng Evening News: From its inception to the present, the personalities of the supermen have been becoming richer, and this time the supermen have revealed their own shortcomings.
Huang Weiming: Yes, supermen are righteous and brave, but they are not always right. But it’s those little flaws that make them all the more real. For example, Happy Superman, his disadvantage is that he is too impulsive, so many times he feels that he is helping people, but as a result, it makes the situation of others very embarrassing. In this film, he began to learn team spirit, instead of rushing in front of everything by himself.
Yangcheng Evening News: Which Superman would your personality be more like?
Huang Weiming: I think I should be a house doctor, because I also like to stay at home.
The director in the film has the shadow of Huang Weimin
Watching Chaplin and watching Xing Ye, the brain hole comes from life
Yangcheng Evening News: There are many interesting bridges and brain holes in the movie. Shouldn’t the screenwriter just come up with them?
Huang Weiming: I always hope that everyone in the company is a creator, and we often brainstorm. This time, not only the creative team, but also the personnel department and the front desk are involved, and they will give very different ideas. In addition, many of the small plots in the story were added by the storytellers themselves. For example, a shapeshifter that turns ugly when it transforms, but is very happy when it loses its superpowers, because it can always be a cutie from now on. This little detail was added by the storyteller himself, and I thought it was quite vivid, so I decided to keep it no matter what. Every time I see an idea like this, I get a kick out of it.
Yangcheng Evening News: Judging from the reactions of the audience at the screening venue, this is an animation work with a strong sense of comedy, which is a major feature of your animation work.
Huang Weiming: You can say that. I myself grew up watching Stephen Chow’s films, and my brain hole will inevitably be bigger. (laughs) Northern comedies tend to be more language-oriented, while southern comedies are often put into action, which is actually quite suitable for animation creation.
Yangcheng Evening News: Apart from Stephen Chow movies, what other classics do you learn from?
Huang Weiming: We watch a lot and it is very mixed, ancient and modern, Chinese and foreign, including Chaplin’s mimes. Chaplin can tell a touching story clearly without any dialogue, just with action, he is really a master. From this point of view, the language of mime is very close to the language of anime.
Yangcheng Evening News: There is a small scene in the film where the super-confidence superman becomes a star’s stand-in. The star not only has hands and feet, but also back and buttocks, and there is continuous laughter in the theater during this period. How did you come up with this idea?
Huang Weiming: I have seen similar news before, saying that some celebrities act, except for their faces, other than their own. I think this is full of joy, and it shows in the film. Many of our stalks come from life, and animation creation must also keep pace with the times.
Yangcheng Evening News: Was the director in this scene designed according to your appearance?
Huang Weiming: Yes, you saw it. (laugh)
Don’t underestimate children, they know everything
Yangcheng Evening News: The richness of the elements of this big movie has surpassed the category of general “children’s” animation. What is the age of your audience when you create?
Huang Weiming: I always hope that children can watch the film, and adults can also watch it, instead of adults accompanying the children and sleeping in the cinema by themselves. This time, various fun elements were indeed added to the film. At present, I have seen some parents’ feedback that they seem to be happier than children. Some viewers said that this was the only movie he watched with his children without falling asleep. I often “peek” people’s comments on various platforms, and the feedback is still very exciting for me. (laugh)
Yangcheng Evening News: The film uses the plot of time and space, and the echoes of the head and tail form a reincarnation. How to make small audience understand?
Huang Weiming: I was worried about this before, because of the time and space shuttle, and there are various adjustments to the timeline in the middle, but then I found myself thinking too much. For example, I was sitting next to a mother and a little friend during the screening. After the film was over, the mother asked the children: Can you understand? The kid immediately told the whole story line completely. I was ready to explain the plot to them at the time, but it turned out that it wasn’t necessary at all.
Yangcheng Evening News: How old is that kid?
Huang Weiming: It looks like he is about 4 years old, a very interesting child.
Yangcheng Evening News: So don’t underestimate today’s children, they are really well-informed.
Huang Weiming: That’s right, really don’t underestimate children. Before I did animation, I drew comics. Once, when I was drawing a four-frame comic, I drew an Aladdin magic lamp, and then someone was rubbing the magic lamp. By the time I got to the fourth frame, I was out of inspiration, as if there was nothing creative in the magic lamp. Just then my cousin, who was only three or four years old at the time, passed by. I asked him, how do you think the last one should be drawn? He said, can there be a piece of paper in the magic lamp that says “I’m resting today”. I think, hey, this is a good idea! Later, I drew his idea into a fourth-frame comic and published it.
Yangcheng Evening News: Children often know more than adults think.
Huang Weiming: Yes, I often tell parents, don’t think that children don’t know everything, they can actually feel everything, but they lack a little life experience than adults, so the most important thing for parents is to be friends with their children .
The rise of Guoman requires a good story in addition to good technology
Yangcheng Evening News: What is the relationship between the two series “Pleasant Goat Big Big Wolf” and “Happy Superman” in your mind?
Huang Weiming: The IP “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf” has a longer history, and “Happy Superman” is still in the growth stage. For me, these two are my own children, and of course I hope they both develop well. But the positioning of the two is different. “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf” is closer to a fairy tale, while “Happy Superman” is more technological and sci-fi.
Yangcheng Evening News: At present, “Happy Superman” has developed into the “Happy Superman” universe. You also said that you hope that our Guoman universe will not lose to Marvel.
Huang Weiming: Yes, if an IP needs to develop for a long time, it must gradually add characters and gradually develop a complete world view. For example, “Happy Superman” may continue to develop in the future. In addition to retaining the characters that everyone welcomes, more new characters will be added, and even another story will occur outside the main story… When I first started doing the first episode, of course I didn’t think so far, but now sometimes I think it’s quite interesting, there is a feeling of gradually creating a small universe.
Yangcheng Evening News: The “Pleasant Goat Big Big Wolf” and “Happy Superman” series have a history of 17 and 12 years respectively. What do you think is the key to keeping IP evergreen?
Huang Weiming: The biggest secret is to write a good story, and then don’t forget the humor, touching and positive energy.
Yangcheng Evening News: I found that your creations are very humorous.
Huang Weiming: Humor has always been my favorite and favorite element. I think that when you watch a film, you must see how you feel. Either you laugh when you watch it, or you cry when you watch it, or you get caught up in suspense. This is called a movie viewing experience.
Yangcheng Evening News: If Guoman wants to continue to rise, what areas do you think creators need to continue to work on?
Huang Weiming: I think everyone should tell the story well first, because in the end the audience still sees the story. In terms of technology, many domestic films are already very powerful. On this basis, telling a fun, down-to-earth story that can resonate with the audience is great. For myself, it is to let my audience watch and like it first, and then think about “going out”.
Yangcheng Evening News: Now many Chinese comics will take advantage of traditional Chinese culture, but “Happy Superman” takes a different path.
Huang Weiming: Yes, we think our south is also a gathering place for high-tech industries. Can we also create a road of technology and science fiction in Guoman? We are exploring. (Text/Reporter Li Li and Qi Jingning)