This year’s Academy Award nominees in the Animated Short Film category are kind of downer for a medium that’s often associated with uplifting children’s fare. In “Dear Basketball,” director Glen Keane partners with basketball legend Kobe Bryant to tell the story of the star’s retirement from the sport. The French “Garden Party” follows a cadre of amphibians as they pick over the detritus of a luxurious party at an opulent estate mysteriously devoid of residents. Pixar’s “Lou” begins with a playground bully robbing children of their cherished toys, and “Negative” Space features a character mourning his absentee father. Finally, the framing device of “Revolting Rhymes” — the … Read the rest
For those whose taste in fairytales favours a darker touch, we’re traveling to the far reaches of Eastern Europe, and into the enchanting world of animator Jiří Trnka. The late Czech animator (whose name is pronounced “Yershy Trinka”) created nearly two-dozen films over his lifetime, from folksy gems like Grandfather Planted a Beet (1945) to the gutsy anti-Stalin short, The Hand (1965).
Craftsmanship ran in Trnka’s blood. He was born in Bohemia in 1912, where his grandmother sold toys for a living and his mother worked as a seamstress.… Read the rest
My son asked me what were my favorite shows when I was his age. There were so few options compared to now, but I recalled Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Crusader Cat and Minute Mouse, Zoom, 321 Contact, Bugs Bunny and the other Looney Tunes shows, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Kroft Superstars (Land of the Lost and the other ones), The Banana Splits, The New Zoo Revue.
When I was older I loved Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, The Greatest American Hero, the A-Team.
But the show I was absolutely obsessed with when I was his age was “Battle of the Planets”. I even wrote and drew what would now be called fan fiction in my own comic book version of the show that I called “Battle of … Read the rest
A few weeks ago, I was snarky about stock imagery on the internet.
I was looking for photos of “people coding,” and the options were decidedly bad — think word clouds and whiteboards. But how would I go about translating such an ephemeral idea into visual form? Honestly, I had no idea.
Stock imagery has played a significant role in developing the visual language of technology. If you imagine all hackers wear black and hunch over green screens in dark rooms, that’s thanks to film and television to be sure, but also because of the creative images that accompany stories on websites like this one. Read more…
Adult Swim made April Fools Day great again on Saturday when they pulled a reverse Rick Roll—call it a Sanchez roll—releasing the aggressively anticipated season premiere of hit show Rick and Morty online out of nowhere.
Fans thought creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon were taunting them when official Rick and Morty social media channels tweeted and Instagrammed the message, “Come watch TV.” It would have been an appropriate punishment for the incessant barrage of nerds constantly asking about Season 3’s premiere date if Adult Swim linked to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Instead they provided an adrenaline-pumping three-hour block of the Season 3 premiere on repeat, revealing the long-awaited mystery of how Rick would escape from galactic prison.
While there was a veritable … Read the rest
A humbling celestial reflection on what enlarges the minuteness of human life with meaning against the vast backdrop of the universe.
At the end of the nineteenth century, well before women could vote, a team of female astronomers at the Harvard College Observatory known as the Harvard Computers made calculations and discoveries that became the basis for Edwin Hubble’s eponymous law demonstrating that the universe is expanding — one of the most revolutionary scientific breakthroughs in human history.
But this begot the inevitable questions of what the universe is expanding into, how big it really is, and whether it is infinite or finite.
More than half a century after Hubble formulated his law, NASA named an enormous, ambitious telescope after him and launched it … Read the rest
The feeling that things have gone off the rails and cutting off airflow contributes to the concept behind an animated music video that follows the life of a domestic abuse victim. The short film is a music video for the song “Grow” by Frances. With silky colorations and slow panning shots, the piece draws upon the loss of identity and bleak helplessness that can come from suffering mental and emotional abuse from someone you care about and from an individual you had believed cared about you.
Day in and day out, the behind-closed-door influences of the protagonist’s life seem to overtake her presence, smudging her out into an inconsequential state. She waits at the bus stop, goes to the market completely unseen under the gaze … Read the rest
No one on the internet is sure how to react to Hi Stranger, a scary-soothing short film by Kirsten Lepore that somehow blends nudity, innocence, ASMR, leeriness, and positive affirmation into a single hairless, genderless, polymer clay fellow with no name. Throughout the film, the character, voiced by previous Lepore collaborator Garrett Davis, speaks lovingly and intimately directly into the camera. If you imagine the stranger as a friend, confidant, or lover, it comes off as soothing, but otherwise can feel intrusive and assuming—an ambiguity the LA-based CalArts alum seems to delight in.
A haunting animation of expressionist illustrations fill out the somber sound of American ambient recording artist, Eluvium, a.k.a., Matthew Cooper. The new music video for his single, “Regenerative Being,” is a seven-minute display of morbid looping vignettes directed and illustrated by Ukrainian animator and comic book artist Stas Santimov. Together, Cooper and Santimov fleshed out a concept for a video wherein a curious man finds himself in a strange place where everything is pre-planned for him by someone awaiting his arrival. Santimov tells Creators that the music video, like many of his previous animated comics, explores “strange people’s behaviors” through a linear narrative that consists mainly of looped scenes.
The story began to take on a more specific shape when Santimov … Read the rest