Starting from the original material of the Bonelli house, the work of the mind of Luca Enoch and Stefano ViettiDragonero tells the adolescence of the three protagonists, as they live their adventure to become Paladins, legendary fighters who protect the Erondár from the threat of the Underworld, under the guidance of the mighty and wise Draiken, the Last Dragon.
A story about adventure and friendship, which was also a real challenge for the production team that saw Bonelli Entertainment working together with Rai Kids, PowerKids and NexusTV. Black Dragon. The Paladins consists of 26 episodes directed by Enrico Paolantonio and the creative production of John Masi And Mauro Uzzeowho also co-wrote the scripts with Federico Rossi Edrighi.
We interviewed the director of the series, who has been working in 2D animation for 20 years and who found himself directing a cel animation series–3D shading.
“The challenge was undoubtedly enormous. I was approached by Vincenzo Sarno, with whom I worked over 16 years on various 2D projects. And when he started working on this series, he got me involved. Working on a 2D production is not the same as working on a 3D production, there are so many different techniques, you have to learn a new language, in terms of direction, camera movements, character modeling. When we made the first video test, when I tried this technique for the first time, which I knew little about, I was dubious because I realized all the difficulties I would have to face. Then one day Mauro (Uzzeo, ed) came to my office, we talked for a long time, and he made me understand that such an experience would add an important item to my curriculum, and so I let myself be convinced. You couldn’t say no to a proposal that, in the same package, offered the possibility of working with Bonelli and a crash course in 3D animation!”
The first four episodes of the series have offered a fairly complete look at what the world of Dragonero is, above all they have given clear evidence of the richness of the product. What is your favorite aspect of the finished work?
“In this type of production details are fundamental, they often enrich those moments in which nothing seems to happen and tell much more than spoken scenes. I think the best aspect of the series is the chemistry between the three main characters, how they behave and how they interact with each other. They’re constantly making jokes, making fun of each other, they’re always on the same level, it’s a pleasure to see them animated. There is a moment in the first season that for various reasons, which we will not reveal because they would be spoilers, the three are not together in the same place and this distance is felt in the tone of the narration, one feels the weight of the fact that Ian, Myrva and Gmor are separate. Another element that I really loved about this production is Arcana, the villain of the story. I’ve always loved slightly tormented characters, plus she gives off a very powerful aura and it becomes clear almost immediately that she is a character who will have a very important evolution as the story progresses. The dubbing of Stefania Patruno then gave the character a fourth dimension.”
What remains of this long and, in many ways, also formative experience?
“I’m mainly left with the not always easy relationship with the team, because when you work with many people, everything doesn’t always go smoothly. Animation is a complex process, like a math equation, and if you make even a small mistake at the beginning of the calculation, you carry it to the end, multiplied, so sometimes there can also be tensions. Despite this, now I seem to have many new friends. The human side is perhaps the most important baggage that this series leaves me. Then professionally I had a great experience, after three years now I can say I’m able to deal with a large 3D production.”
Black Dragon. The Paladins will be broadcast on RAI from December.
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Enrico Paolantonio: interview with the director of the animated series Dragonero. The Paladins
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