20 years ago it was released animated jungleA film entirely produced in A Coruña who won Two Goya Awards (Best Animated Film and Best Original Song)And entered Box office top 10 of 2001 and sold to More than 60 countries. This was the great success of studying Coruna Driga movies, but to find out how they got there, we’ll have to go back a few years.
This story begins in the 1980s in A Coruña. There, three friends, Suso Cupero, Carlos Macera and Manolo Gómez founded a group called Orballo that began to develop in the world of graphics. After undertaking several initiatives, Carlos and Manolo founded a company called Dygra, an acronym for Design and Graphics, which years later became Dygra Films.
In the 1990s, Manolo was left alone in charge of the company, which was renamed Dryga Digital Multimedia. They start doing expensive work, and During a trip to an exhibition in France, Manolo discovered what would be his greatest passion: 3D animation.
In 1995, while in the United States, Pixar changed the history of animated cinema with Toy StoryManolo Gomez was laying the first stone that would change after years the animation cinema in Spain with the founding of Filloa Récords. Under this classification, he has created many successful video games, such as AnimalWhich has won several awards According to its origin, It became the most pirated video game in Latin America in 1996.
Success Animal Manolo explains that the praise for his animation made “the mistake of making a movie bite us”. a) yes, In 1997 it was made with rights animated jungleBy Wensceslao Fernández Florez from A Coruña and They began making a film that would revolutionize Spanish cinema.
His biggest hit: The Animated Forest
animated jungle It was the huge success of Dygra Films which won 20 international awards, which has been translated into 20 languages and sold in more than 60 countries. the question is, How can a small studio from A Coruña finance a film of this size? The answer lies in a strange story that mixes Zara, Fraga and Michael Douglas.
Dygra had the opportunity to implement two projects that would serve to finance his film. One of them was an investigation Leading online training tool for Zara employees And after the entire Inditex group. Today it is popular, but really innovative if we think that it happened in 1997.
Another project brings together the same story Faraja Previously Michael Douglas. At the time, Xunta President Manolo Gomez was commissioned to be the exhibition curator for Galicia technology. The American actor who lived in Mallorca and wanted to create a technology museum, He traveled in his private plane to be able to see this exhibition up close, which was a huge success.
After four years of production, the big moment has come. July 27, 2001 The Opera Palace in A Coruña hosts the premiere of the film animated jungle It was attended by nearly 4,000 people. A few days later, on August 3, the movie opened in more than 200 cinemas thanks to Disney and broke box office records with half a million viewers, Ranked among the top 10 highest-grossing films of 2001.
In addition to its success in Spain, the film was featured in the international press, as it was the first European production of 3D animation. French magazines CNN In the United States or publications in Germany, the film A Coruña reverberated.
“The most striking thing is that it was made exclusively in Galicia, 99% of the staff were Galician, and they were from Coruñawho trained in the study or at the University of A Coruña. When we talk about a miracle, it is not so much a miracle, it puts into operation a series of tools that put effective mechanisms into action”, says Manolo Gómez, who recalls among these boys David Cairo, who ended up working with Steven Spielberg.
The crisis put an end to the dream
This first teacher has been completed With three other films and another Goya A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was also a huge hit after the studio became better known for its first movie.
The 2008 crisis led to Degra not being able to find the funding needed to continue cinema. Although they made a deal with The Weinstein Company for the movie Holy nightThey had to close it and couldn’t release it in the best possible way.
Galicia lost an important opportunity and it is still not well known what this 3D technology is. There is still ignorance, not only for making video games or movies, but also for simulations in science or education. This is the present in half the world, but in Spain We have lost many years because of ignorance of the politicians in our country and that you young people know very wellManolo Gomez talks about the situation in the sector.
Without exaggerating it, in the latest release of Goya, only one movie was presented in the animation category, which indicates the bad moment that the sector is going through. Luckily, Dygra . workers They continue to work in trade, although unfortunately most of them are forced to do so outside of Spain.
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary
In spite of everything, this story cannot have a sad ending, and even more so on the 20th anniversary of animated forest. Manolo Gomez advances this at the beginning of the year There will be an exhibition promoted by the county council showing the film-making process It will be accompanied by animation workshops. can be seen in Cambre, Narón, Pontedeume, Ames, and A Pobra do Caramiñal are in talks so you can see them in A Coruña. In addition, to celebrate the 21st anniversary, a documentary will be released about the film’s creation process.
A few days ago, Manolo Gómez met again with his film at the A Coruña Animation Film Festival, which he screened on its 20th anniversary. “I enjoyed watching it as a dwarf, and what I remember most are the failures, but in that lane I had a great time and everyone told me that it never aged and that it became a classic“Manolo proudly tells about a film that showed the world the talent of Galicia and A Coruña.
“Professional problem solver. Subtly charming bacon buff. Gamer. Avid alcohol nerd. Music trailblazer.”