WINNER OF THE FEAST POSTER ANNOUNCEMENT:
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* For a chance to win a collectible commemorative lithograph copy of The Feast Animated Short poster, scroll to the end of this article.
There are times I really love my school for all the extracurricular activities they bring that I feel help to broaden my scope as an animator. Every year, we are encouraged to go to the Animation’s Show of Show featuring a handful of amazing animated shorts selected from over thousands around the world curated by Ron Diamond and hosted at the new SCAD-Atlanta SCAD SHOW theatre.
A quick brief for those that don’t know what the Animation Show of Show is, it’s a pretty big deal if you are in the animation field. Ron Diamond,founder and executive producer of Acme filmworks , has traveled across different states since 1998 to screen his top selected animation shorts (a lot of which has ended up as Oscar nominees or winners) at schools and major animation studios including PIXAR, Dreamworks, and more. The Show of Show is free and runs every year so catch it at your nearest location and book yourself a seat by going to their website and checking out the details.
This year I found the particular selections to be a bit different from the past two years and there are three animated shorts from big name studios that the audiences were looking forward to including Disney’s Feast (Set to be out with Big Hero 6 Feature Animation), Pixar’s Lava (Set to be out in 2015), and Glen Keane’s Duet (available online).
The 2014 Animation Show of Show’s Animation List
• FEAST by Patrick Osbourne
• Bang Bang by Julien Bisaro
• Marilyn Myller by Mikey Please
• Lava by James Murphy
• Me and my Moulton by Torill Kove
• We Can’t Live without Cosmos by Konstantin Bronzit
• 365 by Greg and Myles Mcleod
• Duet by Glen Keane
• Hunger by Petra Zlonoga
•Hipopotamy by Piotr Dumala
*The following include my own opinions of what I thought of the following shorts and are highly subjective to taste.
FEAST by Patrick Osbourne
A Disney short about a love story told through the eyes of a dog followed by a trail of food. This one was my personal favorite since I saw this at the SIGGRAPH Vancouver conference this year and was captivated by it. I love food and dogs so this is a very much biased opinion but with that aside, I felt the story was told in a refreshing point of view with great use of ellipses to cut down on story time. The lighting and color script was also gorgeous and the behind the scenes of how they accomplished this look in 3D to keep it 2D, while not new, is pretty mind blowing in realizing how far we’ve come with technology. If you like dogs and food, this is definitely the short for you.
Bang Bang by Julien Bisaro
A French animation about a girl who is chased by a wolf in the forest and accidentally gets shot by her father…or is it something more? First glance at this animation had me wondering what distinguished this 2D animation from all the other visually appealing animation produced by CalArts or Gobelin. It did though have undeniably fantastic animation, camera movements, great visual appeal in black and white with a pop of color here and there. Honestly, I’m not quite sure I caught everything this animation was trying to say but my best guess is a woman who decides to break free from her father’s influences. Interesting set up that comes a full circle at the end. I would say some parts are French to me…because literally…it’s French.
Marilyn Myller by Mikey Please
I’m a huge stop motion fan so the materiality of this animation really appealed to me. The foam texture aesthetic with the all-white look was almost surreal to me. It got quite a lot of great reaction from the audience especially with the commentary of what “art” is. Thought ending could use a more solid resolution but it packs a laughing punch at the right moments.
Lava by James Murphy
A PIXAR short: A love story between two lavas. I really wanted to love this as I loved all the Pixar short but this short didn’t quite live up to the expectation I had built up in my head watching the trailer. The main volcano’s design was really great but the female volcano’s features seemed a bit generic and frankly a bit lazy to me. The song was cheesy but I am a fan of puns so it was good for me especially the phrase: I lava you. The story is one that has been done over before with the story arch being predictable while the ordeals of the characters seemed quite minute to me somehow. I wasn’t really feeling the anxiety of separation or much empathy. The visuals were gorgeous though with the effects and the environment. I just wished the story had gone in a different direction.
Me and my Moulton by Torill Kove
This was quite an entertaining piece for me as a slice of life type of documation. The story about the quirks of a family is always somewhat unique but relatable. There is not much sense of a resolution though I don’t think it quite needed one. Though it does kind of beg the question of whether this was unique enough to be considered a to pick out of probably a couple of thousand animations. (Torill also animated My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts from the first Animation Show of Shows and Danish Poet.)
We Cant live without Cosmos by Konstantin Bronzit
A bromance between two training astronauts. This was the second time I saw this short and it is had a solid great narration. I felt that personally this piece was very well connected with human emotions. There were strong comedic points and emotion bits at the right time. The short doesn’t force you to feel but utilizes a lot of pauses in the right places to allow for feelings.
365 by Mcleod Brothers: Greg & Myles
A compilation of 1 second-a-day animation made in a year. This was a fantastic piece in my opinion and pure animation for animation’s sake. It was a great creative exploration that reminded some of us why we got into animation in the first place. Quite a lot of comments I heard from other animators was that they wanted to try this too. The 1-second segments were also diverse and creative and engaging throughout. It really embodies what captures the attention of today’s audiences where everything is quick and instant.
Duet by Glen Keane
A love story through the timeline of a young man and a woman. This doesn’t really have much of a plot per say but it is a beautifully visual piece by the Disney legend Glen Keane. It’s a great piece for the showcase of the level of skill and craftsmanship of the master. There’s no real story or emotional depth for me in watching this piece but the great flow of lines and switching of perspective so skillfully done left me with a slight nostalgic feel for the traditional 2D Disney animation I grew up with. The low lights and highlights worked really well like starlight inking and illuminating itself across a dark canvas of a sky. A comment I heard from the sideline from one of the animators is that it reminded them of Ryan Woodward’s Thought of You animation. That’s a fair comment as it is a “duet” and a poetic dance piece that does move according to the rhythm.
Hunger by Petra Zlonoga
I don’t really feel qualified to give much opinion on this piece as I don’t think I got the significance of it and this could be because of cultural disconnect. It does seem like a metaphor of something bigger. But all in all, the rough blend of the animation was intriguing but I wish I knew more about it to be able to make comments. I might just try to find it to watch it again now that I found a synopsis.
The Bigger Picture by Daisy Jacob
Two brothers look after their elderly ailing mother. This is another review I may be more than a little biased as it is a great showcase of refreshing visual techniques in stop motion. This was also a piece I saw for the second time but the techniques of blending flat physical space (the wall) with tangible 3D space (everything else) was done masterfully and emphasized the materiality of the animation quite brilliantly. The use of cling wrap as water was also quite clever and did not look out of place. The story itself was a touching slice of life and highly relatable to me. Similar to other pieces in this series of animation in the show of shows, there was no pounding resolution but I wasn’t really bothered by it. It really does symbolize the story of life where life just does go on.
Hipopotamy by Piotr Dumala
An X-rated reverse anthropomorphization of hippopotamus behavior as humans. An intriguing concept reversing the behavior of hippos and using humans as their representation. It does something weird to your psyche when you put things into human-relatable forms. I have a bit of childhood wariness for hippos as when younger, I saw the news about a mother hippo eating her own baby and then proceeded to have a vivid dream about it biting a shark in half. Not to mention the fact that after some googling, you find out you can’t outrun a hippo. Some nice portrayal of hippos was shown in this piece but I wished more were explored with the mother hippo’s relations towards their youth other than just the animalistic mating and aggressive instincts. Yes, hippos are aggressive but that’s not the only part to hippos. Comes off more to me as trying for shock value at points and a male versus female stance. Not sure what the dog in the background represented. Parts of the style of the animation made me feel it was more autonomical and machine-like than an exploration of living organic creatures.
*WIN A COPY OF THE FEAST DISNEY ANIMATION SHORT POSTER So I happen to have this lovely extra copy of The Feast Poster I got from SIGGRAPH Vancouver 2014 this year so if you want to win a copy, please LIKE my facebook page AND post a comment on my article to be eligible for the drawing. Comments may take 1 day to be approved. I will be putting in your name in the random lottery generator for fairness and one lucky winner will get this gorgeous poster. Location applies worldwide. I am willing to ship this poster with my own money with standard shipping. If you win and want express shipping, you have to pay for it. Prize will be drawn and announced on Tuesday October the 28th!
And stay tuned for more cool activities! We still have more cool prizes and gifts to give out! 😀