"Realistic Pokémon" Artist Got A Job On The Detective Pikachu Movie

Six years ago, artist RJ Palmer started drawing Pokémon as though they were realistic dinosaurs. Those sketches, done for fun, led to him getting the job of a lifetime: working on the Detective Pikachu movie, which we got our first real look at today.

I mean that in the most literal sense; Palmer says that the film’s production designer hired him when he googled “realistic Pokemon” and our posts on his 2012-13 art came up.

Palmer — who by day works at Ubisoft’s San Francisco studio (Rocksmith, South Park: The Fractured But Whole) — spent about seven months on the movie in 2016-17, and contributed a bunch of Pokémon designs. If you’re wondering why any Pokemon needed to be redesigned, watch the trailer again: while Pikachu has essentially just been given more visible fur, other guys like Charizard are looking far more fleshed-out.

We’ll hopefully get a look at those closer to the film’s release in 2019, but for now, I thought it’d be fun to look back at his earlier stuff, more of which you can see collected here.


Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios.


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