Large Format
Virtual Actors
Review by Ross Anthony

Wow! An awesome 3-D animation short, "The Boxer" is packaged in a production that explains the processes of bringing "virtual actors" to life.

Virtual Actors First, the short: Brilliantly composed, carefully, artfully shot (camera angles etc.) with fantastic caricatures. The movement, the lighting, the action, the story are woven together so intelligently that they produce a simply 100% entertaining twenty minutes at the Big Screen. The characters are reminiscent of those in "Toy Story" (in fact, one of the voice actors stated that the creator of "Boxer" pretty much laid the ground work for "Toy Story" and the films in that genre that followed).

Following the short, two virtual actors walk the audience through the steps necessary to create a pixel person from gridding to rendering to painting to animating. Not only educational, but in an entertaining, "Academy Award" kind of way.

I enjoyed all of the actors, but the female presenter seemed inconsistently stiff, her facial features leaned towards lizard like. The only other area for improvement -- though very likeable, the boxer's verbal antics became a bit repetitive and approached annoying as the educational portion neared the end. Oh, and "Virtual Actors" may be dead-on as a descriptive label - but it belies the pizzazz of the production it titles.

Besides the obvious, the virtual stage and background for the presenters shimmers in creativity. Each fan in the boxing arena appears to be cheering and waving arms in his/her unique fashion. Though looming in the darkness, this crowd adds a great deal to the action in the foreground.

(UPDATE: I've recently spoken with Co-writer/Voice talent Philippe Begeron who tells me the film has since been edited such that "The boxer" short and subsequent educational portions have been interwoven.)

  • Virtual Actors. Copyright © 2004.
  • Starring the voices of Philippe Begeron, Aron Tager, Caroline Ambrose, Vincent Corazza, Andre Sogliuzzo, Kevin Michael Richardson, Kevin Dorsey.
  • Directed by Pierre Lachapelle.
  • Screenplay by Philippe Begeron and Pierre Lachapelle.
  • Produced by Pierre Lachapelle at TFX Animation.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:43:17 PDT