Undone was the one press room I attended at SDCC 2019 where I knew nothing about the show. After talking to the star and creators, though, this is a series you will want to pay for Amazon Prime just to watch. Add some incredible actors and an old, near-forgotten animation technique with a subject that tackles mental health, and Amazon has a winner on its hands.
It’s true; even as someone who has their ear to the ground for new television projects, I was surprised to see Undone was a very understated addition to Amazon’s over-the-top presence at SDCC. And frankly, I am not super into animated shows, so I wasn’t even really excited to attend the press room, but when I heard about what the story was and that Rosa Salazar was attached, I started to hype myself up.
The show itself is centered around a single character, Alma (who is played by Salazar) who is still grieving her father (played by Bob Odenkirk) who had passed away several years prior. Back in the present, Alma gets into a near-fatal car accident and awakes from a coma to find herself seeing and interacting with her deceased father. He tells her the accident that killed him was actually murder, and she must go back in time to solve the mystery as to what happened. Alma, who is still grieving, is unsure if this development is caused by something supernatural from the coma, or if she is starting to suffer schizophrenic tendencies.
Not only does the show really tackle mental health in its story (which is unique enough), but the series itself has a very unique element in that it is animated using rotoscope (which is tracing over a live-action image to create movement).
Think of this technique with old Disney films like Snow White that used such a technique by layering painted glass projections. Rotoscoping is not something done often as it is extremely labor-intensive. In the press room, creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg (who also created BoJack Horseman) said that rotoscope is being used in this project to smoothly show the movement of time and time travel. The entire show was filmed in live-action against oil painted sets, and then manually hand-drawn. Creator Kate Purdy stated that the point of the animation is to feel the transition from real to surreal and blur the lines between the two.
Below is the entire playlist from the SDCC 2019 press room.
After attending the interviews, this is probably the series I’m most looking forward to. It is clearly a passion project for the creators, and Rosa Salazar is so proud of the work, that it is a must-see for Amazon Prime subscribers.
Feel free to share your thoughts about Undone with us.
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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