The first animated Phantom film to be released in over 20 years was launched tonight at the 2017 Griffith Film School (GFS) student showcase, and it is bound to be a hit with phans.
ChronicleChamber was lucky enough to get along and attend the premiere, and are delighted to report that Kid Phantom: Homework is a fun story and a professionally produced animation, and it certainly brought a smile to our face!
The opening frames, with a completely black screen and the small title Homework, quickly give way to a typical jungle scene. This is no typical jungle though, as the Deep Woods foliage is peeled back to reveal a sight instantly familiar to comic strip fans the world over - the Skull Cave! Dr Paul Mason - Kid Phantom comic book artist, GFS lecturer, and of course Co-Writer & Supervising Director for Homework - revealed this much in a late night tweet yesterday.
The below still image, released last week, is the very next scene: a bored young Kit is struggling to maintain focus on his Geography. In the film we are given a much greater look around his room than this image shows, and although (or because!) this is just a fleeting glimpse, it's enough to say he has a great many posters and knick knacks in his room that we'd love to pause and have a longer look at!
Far be it from us to spoil the animation for phans, so we're certainly not going to reveal too much about the plot. No surprises though, that Kit is drawn from his studies and into the iconic Phantom suit when he hears a frightened scream from outside. A Bandar girl is in trouble, and it's Kid Phantom to the rescue!
Viewers are taken on a typical Phantom jungle-adventure ride, with a thrilling chase and nods to some great Falk tropes - "Nothing likes to get hit on the nose" Old Jungle Saying.
We see Kit's mother Maude, who is not excited that her young son is skiving off from his book-learning and instead getting into some physical training, and we also see Dad - the 20th Phantom - who seems both exasperated and proud at the same time.
There is no dialogue in the animation (unless you count the Bandar girl's scream), with the plot unfolding and characters interacting easily thanks to some great visual story-telling. The sound effects are natural, and the two songs used add to the setting, pace and excitement of the adventure.
As you can see from the image below (taken from a poster in the anteroom showing the work of Jacob Mackay Art Director), the representations of Kid Phantom and the Phantom in the animated Homework are a little more stylised than they have appeared in the comic books, and one could wonder whether Kit is in fact a few years older here than he is in the books.
Either way, Homework is a little ripper of a tale and is sure to be a hit with most Phantom phans once it becomes widely available. Of course there will always be those who will immediately dismiss it because of the artwork; that's their loss.
Speaking with Paul prior to the screening, he is proud of the production team and can't wait to have the film seen by phans all over the world. However, he is also excited about the prospect of entering Homework into a number of film festivals, so we will just need to be patient for the moment. Jacob was thrilled that there is so much interest in his work, and also happy that it was finished in time for the deadline.
ChronicleChamber's verdict? A wonderful, fun short story that phans the world over can enjoy. It's accessible to all ages, and it'll be fantastic to see the how it's received by the 8-12 year old audience. Our only possible complaint is that it's only two and a half minutes long, and we wish it was a teaser for a full 22 episode series!!