Variety has an exclusive story on Nicolas Marlet, the sole character designer for Dreamworks’ newest animated feature film to be released next week, “Kung Fu Panda”. Since animation is such a collaborative process, rarely do you see only one designer’s style on the screen.
For DreamWorks, the closest precedent was “Madagascar,” on which Craig Kellman created the majority of the toon’s incredibly stylized characters. “That really opened the doors for ‘Kung Fu Panda’ to follow one shape language,” [production designer Raymond] Zibach says. “Nico does these amazing pages where he has 20 or 30 characters on one page and you’re ready to make that movie, they’re so charming.”
The article is a nice read, but take a look at the gorgeous samples of Nico’s designs in this link here.
Marlet has previously worked on Dreamworks films designing characters in the “Road to El Dorado”, “Sinbad”, and “Over the Hedge”.