Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Design Exercise: Raptor Red Teaser Poster

Have you read Raptor Red, Bob Bakker's novel of a female Utahraptor's adventures in Cretaceous North America? I have, though it's probably been fifteen years. The tale of Raptor Red and her struggles with survival and family drama, it was another way for Bakker to popularize his views on dinosaur behavior and physiology. Red is intelligent - at one point remembering the presence of off-shore Kronosaurs and luring a big Acrocanthosaurus out to its doom. You could almost substitute primitive people for Red's clan without too much trouble. I'm interested in reading it again to see how it's fared with time.

One thing I was sure of then, and am now: it would make a heck of a movie. When presented with a design exercise at work recently, involving turning a book cover into a movie poster, I chose this one. We had an hour to do it, so I kept it really simple, choosing to highlight that signature sickle-claw on her foot. I based it on my own photo of the Field Museum's Deinonychus .

Raptor Red Teaser Poster

It wasn't my intention, and the thought hadn't occurred to me, but my friend and coworker Matt said that it reminded him a little of Samurai Jack. I'd love to see a traditionally animated version of Raptor Red directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. If you've not seen any of his work, look up the episode of Samurai Jack called "Three Blind Archers." The ability of Tartakovsky and his team to animate the sounds Jack hears when blindfolded makes me think that they could do some really interesting things with the Utahraptor's sensory experience. Considering the announcement of the Pixar dinosaur film, we may be approaching dinosaur saturation point. So if Raptor Red is to make it to the screen, she may have to wait a while (though the book has been optioned for adaptation, there doesn't seem to have been any movement on it in over a decade).

But what the heck. There are a million ways to do this imaginary project. Who would you like to see adapt Raptor Red? Or is adapting it at all a bad idea?


  1. I want to do it!

    Agree with an animated version, stylized look. Allows for emotive point-of-view storytelling so important to the story.

  2. I love the book, have read it several times and it works so well because we all use our imagination to define Raptor Red and her world. I'd prefer a proper CGI epic as opposed to another Pixar animation. Still think you would need someone like Spielberg or Cameron at the helm though.

  3. Ooh, I wasn't thinking Pixar... only very slightly anthropomorphized, and no speaking critters. But still stylized.

  4. I still haven't read this book, but it does sound as though it would make a great animation -- depending on treatment, of course.

    Love the poster!

  5. My favorite scene from the book, and forgive me if my memory has concocted this from thin air, involves playful troodons sledding down a snowy hillside.

    Bakker depicts all kinds of different environments, which I think is one thing that leads me to think it would be good to animate.

  6. I own this book and have read it a couple times. Good stuff. Maybe an animated film based on Richardo Delgados artwork would be neat.

  7. Ow, David, I'm going to want to illustrate that too now. ¬_¬

  8. I looove this book! I think it's one of the very best 'animal perspective' works ever written and so I have to agree that it would make a very good movie or animated series!

  9. I say make the movie like what DreamWorks did with Spirit: Stallion of the Cinmarron, a combination of traditional and digital animation (so called "tradigital", and maybe no dialogue or even narrative


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