TCL releases awkward trailer for AI-generated movie

(Image credit: TCLtv+)

What you need to know

  • TCL is releasing an AI-generated movie called Next Stop Paris, and a trailer just dropped for it on YouTube. 
  • The short film features an original script and human voice actors, but uses generative artificial intelligence for animation. 
  • Next Stop Paris will appear on TCLtv+, the free streaming service offered by TCL, and is the company’s first foray into original content. 

TCL, the company we know for budget Android TVs and cheap Android smartphones, is now diving into original content creation. Its new content will appear on its free streaming service, TCLtv+, and there will be one short movie to start. However, these aren’t just any movies: the newly-created TCLtv+ Studios will be making animated films using generative artificial intelligence. 

Generative AI has been used in a number of mainstream applications, including text generation, image generation, and even custom animations. However, the technology is still maturing, and AI hasn’t been used by a major company for full-length video animation just yet. That changes with Next Stop Paris, which TCL calls an “AI-generated special.” It’s a short romance film written by human writers and voice actors, with contributions from human artists as well. However, the bulk of the animation is handled by artificial intelligence.

TCL hasn’t made any major breakthroughs in generative AI animation if the Next Stop Paris trailer is any indication. It looks as if the company used an AI image generator to create stills and then added some motion to them. It’s very apparent that the trailer was made with artificial intelligence, as you can see abnormalities, especially in the characters’ faces. The voice track doesn’t seem to line up perfectly with moving lips either, creating a viewing experience that can only be described as awkward. 

You can see for yourself what TCL’s animated romance movie will look like from the YouTube trailer

Again, it isn’t as bad as past examples of AI animation have been — you might recall the viral videos of Will Smith eating spaghetti — but it certainly isn’t good either. People at the helm of TCL want to push boundaries with this AI-generated film and see whether viewers enjoy it. While it isn’t explicitly stated, there are obvious cost benefits to TCL making original content that leverages AI rather than using human animators or a live-action format. 

“Story will be at the heart of everything we do,” says Chris Regina, chief content officer of TCL. “We are empowering creators and storytellers to use this new technology so the human experience is enriched, and we believe that Creatives with limitless imagination will drive endless innovation. We view ‘Next Stop Paris’ as an early experiment and we’re excited to see how it’s received in the town square.”

TCL says that Next Stop Paris will be released this summer, both online and through the TCLtv+ app.

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Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John’s University in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. When he isn’t experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

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