How film magicians created Harrison Ford’s co-star of dogs in Call of the Wild movie with the help of a HUMAN actor
The new film by Harrison Ford, The Call of the Wild, has a divided audience about his decision to cast an ex-circus artist in the role of co-star of the dog Buck.
The latest film adaptation of Jack London’s 1903 novel follows the friendship between the stolen dog and the John Thornton character from Ford.
Instead of looking for a 140lb St Bernard-Scotch Collie mix to cast as Buck, producers opted to animate the cute dog with computer graphics.
Terry Notaris, a former Cirque du Soleil performer, was recruited by director Chris Sanders to record the part of the sweet stray dog next to Ford, 77.
The latest film adaptation of Jack London’s 1903 novel follows the friendship that comes to fruition between the stolen dog Buck (right) and the character John Thornton (left) of Harrison Ford
Previously known for his motion-capture work in movies Avatar, The Hobbit series and the Planet of the Apes reboot, notary scribbled and imitated Buck’s movements before being replaced in post-production editing.
The end result has been praised as’ absolutely breathtaking ‘by animal welfare activists, who noted the producers’ decision not to exploit creatures.
Animal welfare charity organization PETA US on Twitter: “BEAUTIFUL! The new Harrison Ford film #CallOfTheWild uses 100% CGI animals.
‘The beautiful images prove that you can make a film about animals without exploiting one! From a bear to Buck, the CGI is absolutely breathtaking. ”
Film critics, however, have torn apart the 20th-century Fox film because of the ‘creepy’ rendering of Buck, a dog that has been stolen and sold for sleds.
Terry Notaris (right), a former Cirque du Soleil performer, was recruited by director Chris Sanders to record the part of the sweet stray dog next to Ford, 77
THE UNCANNY VALLEY: a phenomenon that scared reviewers while watching Ford’s movie The Call of the Wild
Film critics are troubled by the image of Buck, a 140-pound St Bernard-Scotch Collie mix stolen from California and sold to sleds during the Canadian gold rush.
Realistic computer-generated images of animals and people are subject tothe creepy valley‘, a phenomenon in which the appearance of fake faces of humans or animals causes aversion.
The parable is said to be “creepy,” while the “valley” indicates a dip in the observer’s affinity or empathy for the replica.
Although some have noticed the beautiful CGI display of the dog, others are stunned by the animation.
CNN argued: “The blessings of technology actually undermine the film in important, distracting ways.”
Variety The Call of the Wild from 2020 called ‘more than a little fake’, destructive: ‘If I want to see a dog turn into a cartoon, I’d rather watch a cartoon’.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter said: ‘The results are visually disorientating to say the least.
“The expressive Buck never looks real. And you keep expecting him and the rest of the animals to burst into a song. ”
The Wall Street Journal took abusive words with human actors instead of the CGI dog and wrote: “Buck is so lifelike thanks to the wonders of computer animation, and the people around him are such lifeless caricatures that the studio should have given the dog the gift of speech and graciously kept people quiet. “
Technological advances enable filmmakers to ‘cut corners’ and simply capture actors who capture movement rather than trained animals.
Speaking of The Call of the Wild, Layla Flaherty, director of animal actor agency Urban Paws, said The times: “It’s cutting corners, it’s faster production and there’s room for error, but it’s not always received positively.”
She added: “People like to see a real animal.”
The Call of the Wild is based on Jack London’s short 1903 novel set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890 Klondike Gold Rush, when there was a demand for sled dogs.
Buck is stolen from his home in California and sold to freight carriers where he meets the bearded character of Ford, the creepy John Thornton.