ENTERTAINMENT

‘Free Birds’ Peruvian Animator Gives Insight On How The Magic Was Made

Animator Ernesto Bottger working on a Myles Standish scene. Photo Credit: Van Redin7

Animator Ernesto Bottger working on a Myles Standish scene. Photo Credit: Van Redin7  (© 2013 RML Turkey's Films, LLC. All Rights Reserved.)

The lack of an animation industry in his native Peru did not stop film animator Ernesto Bottger from following his dream to work in big studio films.

“I used to draw since I was very little,” he told Fox News Latino, adding that his passion took him to the Vancouver Film School in 2003 where he received a degree in CG animation.

This kicked off a career working on a variety of animation and live-action movies like “The Ant Bully” and “Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five.” He also worked in the simulator ride attraction “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem” to be launched at Universal Studios Florida in April 2014. 

Some of Bottger’s most recent animations come to life in the new holiday film “Free Birds” with Woody Harrleson and Owen Wilson starring as Jake and Reggie, two pardoned turkeys that go back in time to stop turkeys from becoming the Thanksgiving traditional meal.

“It was great,” said Bottger, who works in Reel FX in Dallas. “I feel like I worked with a lot of talented people.”

In "Free Birds" he was in charge of bringing to life Myles Standish, a fearless and most skilled hunter of Thanksgiving turkeys that seems to have met his match in Jake and Reggie. Standish was voiced by veteran actor Colm Meaney.

Bottger said developing the character’s back story was the process that he enjoyed the most – figuring out the quirks and facial expressions that would make him real to the viewers. To accomplish this, the film’s director Jimmy Hayward had all animators act out each scene before the animation began.

“Animators are shy actors,” he said with a chuckle.

The scenes were acted out in front of a camera, which allowed Hayward and the producers determine if they were going in the right direction.

“It became a great process as you can feed off each other,” Bottger said. “It was awesome.”

“Free Birds” hits theaters nationwide on Nov. 1. In the meantime, Bottger is currently working on his next animation film “Book of Life,” which describes the story of a young man torn between fulfilling his parents' expectations and following his heart.

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Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for FoxNews.com.

Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang