Okay, here's a picture of the Marc Adler, the creator of the new animated movie Delgo ...
And here's a picture of Delgo.
Is it just us or does anybody else see a resemblance?
We'll get back to that.
Adler stopped by the Houston Press offices and spoke with Hair Balls about his new baby, Delgo, an animated fantasy about a boy who falls in love with a princess from an enemy people. Not only does the poor kid have to figure out how to get the girl, he has to stop the two nations from going to war and ruining his 'player' plans.
This is the first film for Adler and company, and as fantastic as Delgo is (he can make stones levitate and the princess has wings), the real fairy tale is how Adler managed to take an idea, and with no experience or connections, jump over every obstacle to deliver a stylish feature film with some of the biggest names in Hollywood participating (the film's voice actors include Freddie Prinze, Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Val Kilmer, the late Anne Bancroft and Kelly Ripa).
Now the head of Fathom Studios in Atlanta, Adler used to be a Houstonian. In fact, he credits two Houston landmarks with helping him decide his career path. He says he got a taste for things in the "KID-TV" exhibit at the Children's Museum of Houston, where he played with video cameras, teleprompters, story boards and a sound booth to create (okay, pretend to create) newscasts.
A few years later, it was his work at the KTRK-TV news studios that cemented the deal. As a teenager Adler interned at the studio and watched in wonder as big names like Dave Ward and Marvin Zindler reported the day's news.
"I was so young, my parents had to drop me off every morning because I couldn't drive yet. I spent the summer labeling tapes, but it was exciting to me."
The big payoff at the end of the summer was when a technician let Adler create a graphic of a barrel of oil and an arrow showing that prices were going up or down. Woo-hoo! "That was the coolest thing I had ever done. All I could think of was 'How can I do more of this?' That was it for me."
Fast forward to now, Adler has a slick, polished, and entertaining feature on his hands.
Delgo has won prizes at the Rome International Film Festival and the Seoul International Animation Festival, but it took home the top title (Best Feature Film) at the Anima Mundi, the big-deal animation festival, where it was up against the world's best anime (those guys aren't known for liking Delgo's style of animation).
Adler came back to Houston to make sure his old stomping grounds, the Children's Museum, was on board for Delgo's big premier. (The KID-TV exhibit is now called the Adler-Sarofim KID-TV Studio. Hmmm, wonder where that name came from?) The CMH didn't let him down. They have a slew of activities for kids, from a stop-motion workshop to making animation via a Zoetrope (cartoon strip wheel) and filp-books, to Entertainment Tonight-ish on-camera reports for the movie's opening.
"You know, kids are going to go see Delgo then run to the Museum, thinking, 'Hey, that guy got started here, why can't I?'" Hair Balls tells Adler.
"I hope so! I really do," he laughs.
Delgo opens in theaters today (Adler is spending his time pacing around the room, he tells us, "like an expectant father," waiting on box-office results.)
The Delgo related events at the Children's Museum go on to December 14. For information, call 713-522-1138.
Now about that resemblance ...
-- Olivia Flores Alvarez
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