Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Animation Show, Volume 1

  • Mt. Head. (Atama Yama.) Koji Yamamura. See 75th Annual Academy Awards Short Films.
  • Brother. Adam Elliot. Claymation. A sweet and silly little rumination on the film-maker’s brother, who died at a young age. Some of it is clearly made up, some is just weird enough to be true. Hell, it may all be made up, but it was funny and moving.
  • Parking. Bill Plympton. A parking lot attendant wages war with an errant blade of grass. Wildly funny and highly recommended!
  • The Adventures of Ricardo. Corky Quakenbush. Three short, very primitive claymation vignettes of a little boy. Not very funny. That’s an understatement.
  • Moving Illustrations of Machines. Jeremy Solterbeck. Independent animators are obsessive. This guy spent 4 years on these ten minutes, hand-drawing stuff that could probably have been done by computer in a few weeks. It’s a little H.R. Giger, a little Metropolis, a little Terry Gilliam. Very impressive … but why?
  • La Course A L’Abime. Georges Schwizgebel. I don’t know what this technique is called. It isn’t traditional clear-cel animation. What they do is use regular paint with broad strokes, overlaying it and making things morph into other things. The main theme here is two people riding horses, but they might turn into almost anything along the way. Very good.
  • Billy’s Balloon. Don Hertzfeldt. We both pretty much hated this. Balloons go mad, and start abusing children. Ha.
  • Cousin. Adam Elliot. Okay, so this Adam Elliot has made a trilogy about his weird relatives. After seeing this one, I suspect even fewer of the details are real, if any are, but they are both funny and touching. Recommended.
  • The Cathedral (Katedra). Tomek Baginski. See 75th Annual Academy Awards Short Films.
  • Fifty Percent Grey. Ruairi Robinson & Seamus Byrne. A quite short meditation on heaven and hell. Okay.
  • Uncle. Adam Elliot. See above.
  • Early Pencil Tests and Other Experiments. Mike Judge. A funny bit about a man in an office. The rest is not worth much.
  • Aria. Pjotr Sapegin. A weird take-off on Madame Butterfly, with clay and plastic dolls. R-rated for some puppet sex.
  • Bathtime in Clerkenwell. Alex Budovsky. Black and white paper cut-outs. Seriously strange, and we loved it. The birds from cuckoo clocks take over London. The music alone is worth the trip.
  • The Rocks (Das Rad). Chris Stenner & Heidi Wittlinger. See 75th Annual Academy Awards … no, on second thought, this one is so good I’m going to post my review here, too, of the short that should have won the Oscar: With all the high-tech wonders of computer animation today, this little 8 minutes of more traditional claymation whimsy was my personal favorite of the 5 nominated shorts. I won’t spoil what will be a truly amazing “Ohmigod!” moment by describing it, except to say that this film gives new meaning to the term “geological time.”