Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thai-Burmese History for kids

King Naresuan's naughty elephant is the subject of Thailand's first 3D animated film. From the Bangkok Post:

"The story begins with the young Khan Kluay living with his mother and the herd in deep jungle during the Ayutthaya era. Naughty and enjoying his freedom, Khan Kluay is also curious about his missing father so one day he decides to leave his safe haven to search for him. This is when his journey begins.

"The mission to find his father turns out to be a big adventure for the young elephant, one that will prepare him to follow in his father's footsteps and become a war elephant. Soon after leaving the herd he stumbles into a Burmese army camp, hoping to find his father.

"At the camp, he first meets the young future King Naresuan, who later helps him escape. However, he is caught by Ayutthaya soldiers and trained for battle. In time he will become one of the greatest war elephants in the battlefield ever.

"Khan Kluay became the war elephant of King Naresuan and was on the battlefield when the Great King was duelling with the Crown Prince of Burma. After winning the battle, King Naresuan named him Chao Phraya Prab Hongsa.

"...for very complicated scenes, like the duelling between King Naresuan and the Burmese Crown Prince on their war elephants, the programmers had to write their own animation software especially for these scenes...Some of the production team were tied to a wooden beam to learn more about how Khan Kluay would move when he hurts his leg and uses a beam for support. And for the battle scenes, the production team had to do real fighting so that the animators could perfect the movement."