Weta Digital, the New Zealand-based outfit run by Peter Jackson, mastered the art of monkey motion capture and animation over the course of the groundbreaking new Planet of the Apes movies, and the company has been pushing the technology forward ever since. That proved useful when Weta was approached by the producers of UCP and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, who were looking for help animating their own humanistic chimp.
In both Gerard Way’s original comic book and its streaming TV adaptation, Pogo is a genetically-enhanced ape who serves as the loyal butler for the Hargreaves family, the dysfunctional superheroes who make up the core of the story’s protagonists. Whereas the simians of the Planet of the Apes trilogies were still primal creatures of the jungle, Pogo is a sophisticated creature, educated, verbose, and dressed in what was at least once an expensive, tailored suit. Weta met both of those challenges with new techniques and new technology.
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