Annecy Festival 2022: in the shadow of the Minions



“Thank you, you are Minion. » The little joke of the mayor of Annecy, François Astorg, addressed to the unleashed public, gathered for the opening of the Animation Film Festival, hit home. The little goofy characters in the shape of a yellow capsule were the kings of the lakeside city on Monday evening June 13, for the world premiere of the rest of their adventures. Highly anticipated after the triumph of the first part (1.1 billion euros in revenue in 2015!), Minions 2. Once upon a time Gru has the taste of offering a much less needy scenario which retraces, to the frenzied rhythm of disco and soul tunes from the 1970s, the formation of Gru, super-criminal of the saga Me, ugly and mean of which the Minions are the servants.

Behind these cascading gags of burlesque inventiveness is a team of 850 brave animators working in Paris for the American studio Illumination. Among them, a man, alone behind his drawing board, scribbles ideas all day long to feed the creative process of the films produced by Illumination.

Éric Guillon behind the scenes

Emblematic of all these shadow actors who roam in animation studios, Éric Guillon is a discreet man who refuses television interviews for fear of eclipsing the collective labor of a studio. It prevents. Without Éric Guillon, whose graphic talent we discover in a beautiful book which has just been published (1), the characters of the Illumination productions, among which we also count All on stage andlike beastswould not have the same flavor.

A flavor somewhat watered down compared to the lively and tasty line of Éric Guillon’s original drawings, born in the margins of his white sheets. Very inspired by the colorful and detailed plates of Guillermo Mordillo, the retrofuturistic machines and the dark ideas of André Franquin, the poses of the heroines of Claire Bretécher, his preparatory sketches are marvels of caustic humour. “Drawing is a meditation that allows you to invent worlds, to tell a character caught in a moment in your life “, observes Éric Guillon, whose vitality of the line is unfortunately lost with the transition to 3D. There remains humor, the yellow mark of the artist.

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