Sky Captain to Avatar to PopBot

I saw Avatar this week and like just about everyone else I was blown away by the motion graphics and 3D animation. The story line was a bit simplistic and predictable, but because of it’s eco-friendly message it worked in spite of this. Technically speaking, it was the most imaginative movie I have seen to date. What made this movie so incredible was how realistic the CGi technology blended with the human actors.

This got me to thinking about another little known film that revolutionized blending CGi actors with humans. Do you remember the 2004 film “Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow”? Well it was one of the first films to be shot entirely on a digital backlot. Soon after that films like “Sin City”, “Immortal” and “300″, followed suit. I remember a couple of years earlier I came across this graphic comic called “PopBot” by the Australian artist Ashley Wood. This comic had an irreverent quality that mixed these sexy robots with journey man heroes and Pulp like characters. I loved everything about it, even the title which utilized my favorite word “Pop”. When Sky captain came out with it’s vintage stylized feel I got so excited that I saw it a couple of times. Up until then the only popular use of this technology was for the Star Wars prequel “Phantom Menace.” The “Sky Captain” movie was more sophisticated, more sexy, and I believed “PopBot” would be even more so if it were made into a film. I imagined it being a CGi cross between “Pulp Fiction” and some sexy arthouse French film. “Sky Captain” didn’t quite achieve that balance but it was one step closer. Critics loved “Sky Captain” but the film lost money at the Box Office. Anyway you should definitely order this on Netflix if you get a chance. I posted the trailer and some images from the PopBot comic below. Coincidently both “Avatar” and “Sky Captain” featured Giovanni Ribisi in a supporting role. Enjoy.

P.S. I heard they are going to adapt “PopBot” into a film so look out.



  1. [...] for history’s most challenging cipher. ┬áNot since the groundbreaking feature film “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” have I seen such a refreshing take on an old [...]

  2. Thanks for the info on Buck Rogers. Another show I watched religiously back in the 80′s. And yeah, too bad about Conran. It’s a shame when people don’t get it.


  3. “Sky Captain and the World of Tommorow” is a masterpiece.

    It belongs on the shelf with the original “Star Wars” (“Episode IV A New Hope” to us geeks) and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as ground-breaking classics inspired by 1930s serials and comics.

    Unfortunately it was marketed to mainstream adults who don’t like anything “old looking”. (I’m a retro-geek so I LOVED it, even more then Avatar!)

    However IMO had it been marketed to kids (who would have saw it as something new and unique) it would have been HUGE. My nephew loved it for that reason. To him it wasn’t old fashion, it was unlike anything he ever saw before. Just like Star Wars when I was a kid.

    Too bad it bombed because Kerry Conran planned sequels. Then he was going to do “John Carter of Mars” but now he’s off that project and has since vanished entirely from the entertainment world. :(

    Keep an eye out for the upcoming web series of Buck Rogers by Cawley Entertainment Company. It’s teaser on YouTube has the same art deco retro look as Sky Captain.

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