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'The Liberator' Trailer: Netflix's Animated War Drama Coming This November 11


Rotoscoping is a technique that has a long history in animation. In rotoscoping, live-action footage is drawn over frame by frame, creating more realistic movement. The technique was invented by animation legend Max Fleischer in 1915. The method has been used by various filmmakers and studios throughout the history of the medium, but a more modern digital version has been used more recently in films like Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly and Amazon's series Undone. A new trailer for a mini-series coming to Netflix is a most unexpected use of the style.

The Liberator is a World War II drama, based on a true story. The four-part series is adapted from the book The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey by Alex Kershaw, and created by Jeb Stuart, screenwriter of classic action flicks Die Hard and The Fugitive. 

The series follows Felix Sparks, "maverick US Army officer", and his rag-tag infantry unit of "diverse, deeply brave " soldiers, who fought for over five hundred days to help liberate Europe.  So pretty much sounds like a standard war story like we have seen countless times before. But it's not something that we often see in US animation.

The Liberator was produced using a new form or rotoscoping called Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation  a "new patent-pending technology combining state-of-the-art CGI with live-action performance", that the inventors say "brings an unprecedented level of emotion and fidelity to the animated drama experience."  Polish effects artist Grzegorz Jonkajtys developed the technology with L.C Crowley and has since opened  Trioscope Studios to make more projects in the style.

Jonkajtys directs the series, which features Bradley James, Martin Sensmeier, Jose Miguel Vasquez and Ross Anderson.

We're not sure about the claims of "unprecedented levels of emotion" as conventional animation is pretty damn effective at bringing us that as it is. This looks like it will at least be novel- and the animation pretty effective. Will it be able to attract an audience though? The fact that it's animated might turn off the traditional audience for world war II films- who tend to skew older. Or is war drama going to turn off the typical adult animation audience? It's definitely going to be interesting to see how this is received, and if it leads to more films or series in this style.

The Liberator will start streaming on Netflix on November 11, which is a significant date as it is Veteran's Day in the United States, Remembrance or Armistice Day elsewhere. Check out the trailer, below.