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The Reel Deal and Other Bad Jokes
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
 
The Animation Show 2005: Second opinion, poorly written.
Go read Derek's post before this one as it's mainly a reply to what he wrote about this year's Animation Show.

Bunnies:
I agree. 'B' is for 'Bunny,' that's good enough for me.

Guard Dog:
Again, agree. Plympton seemed to be in a slump of suck for awhile there (I'm sure there are those that wouldn't agree, but for me his stuff was feeling unwatchable lately). This one was great. 'A'

F.E.D.S. :
I don't really feel that this was a rip of Aardman since he took an interview and applied it to an entirely different set of creatures (zoo animals). I doubt that Aardman was the first to animate an interview. Also, to clarify, I was telling Justin C. that I didn't know if it was done with Rotoscoping, but it reminded me of the animation in 'Waking Life' A bit hard to watch, but I felt it did a good job of attaching facial emotion to the dialog and remaining somewhat interesting. I give it a 'C'. UPDATE: I found out from here that 'F.E.D.S.' was created by Jen Drummond who also had a hand in 'Waking Life'.

Pan With Us:
Yes, fantastic technique, and I really started to enjoy what it was doing when it got to the eagle. But the first half, not so much. 'C'

Ward 13:
This was one of the tops for me this year. I could stand the texture because not all claymation needs to be smooth and by being a bit on the rough side it helped set the mood of the overall short. There was quite a bit of detail throughout and it left me wanting to see it again. 'A'.

Hello:
This one was interesting, yes, but I also probably don't rank it as highly as the others did. While I was watching it I couldn't help thinking things like, "That must suck to have to come up with a tape for everything you want to say," and "I wonder if he can upgrade?" Still the detail was quite good. 'B+' as well.

Rock Fish:
A decent animation. When I first saw the bounding, goofy "pet" I did think, "Oh no. Another quality animation succumbs to the 'cute' critter flaw." But what can you do? The animator probably wanted a sci-fi equivalent to a fisherman's dog and that was what he came up with. Technically, I would give this one an 'A-', but overall (idea + characters) I give it a 'B-' as well.

Fallen Art:
Oh yes. Most good and dark. Good animation and story. Once I had grasped what was going on I was quite amused in spite knowing that laughing at it would mean additional duties in Hell. 'A'

Fireworks:
Yes, I think PES has better shorts that could have been shown, and this was so short that at first I thought it was just the title for the next one, but there you go. 'C-'

The Man with No Shadow:
At first I enjoyed the way one scene morphed into the next, but then it started that circling pattern with the camera and I was starting to get motion sick. And was I the only one confused by him getting seven league boots instead of his shadow back? 'C'

When the Day Breaks:
Overall, a 'B' I liked the style and the animator did a good job of humanizing the animals, but I didn't care much for the overall story.

The Meaning of Life:
I'd had such high hopes for this since I first heard about it. When it started with the evolution of man into the guy walking along saying, "Give me your money!" I was sure we were heading toward some great finish. But then... Well, you know what happened. Stick to the "funny" Don! You are very, very good at that. Leave the philosophy to the philosophers. I'm very impressed at your skill at hand drawn animation, but I wanted to be left both impressed and satisfied. I wasn't. 'C-'

Overall I would rank this year's Animation Show somewhere around a 'C' or 'B-' Its high points were pretty high, and although the low points were pretty low I didn't grade anything below a 'C-' because, ultimately, these people are doing more than just talk about making animation: they are doing it. And none of them were as God-awful as last year's 'Ricardo' shorts.

I'm not sure I'll be willing to drive up to Denver for the next one, if there is a next one, unless we have other things planned to do there as well. Those Denver drivers are insane.
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