Initially daily but now sporadic blog about anime and world animation with a specific focus on the artists behind the work. Written by Ben Ettinger.
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Archives for: February 2005, 27

Sunday, February 27, 2005

01:27:49 am , 422 words, 3066 views     Categories: Animation, Indie

The Animation Show 2005

For those of us who don't go to festivals, the Animation Show is a nice chance to see a sampler of recent high-quality shorts from around the globe up on the big screen for once, and to support independent animation at the same time. I suppose it's a little naive for me to be surprised how many people were at the screening, but it was a nice thing to see anyway. Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt were on hand for a Q&A afterwards, and we got treated to some impromptu King of the Hill. I wasn't aware that they were going to be there, which was an added bonus for me.

The selection was more solid than I'd expected, but then it goes to reason when you hear that they whittled it down to 10 from 1022. So much animation is being made these days! I mainly wanted to see Guard Dog, because the teaser had made me laugh tears, but everything was worth seeing, even the CGI films. At the opposite end, Don Hertzfeldt spent four years animating The Meaning of Life, and, as a disclaimer at the end reads, "No computers were used in the making of this film." Kind of inspiring to see how much he can get out of stick figures and pencil and paper. I kind of wish I'd asked how he created the mezmerizingly beautiful starry effects near the end of the film, because until I saw the disclaimer I was thinking it was CGI. Interesting also was that Don stated that parts of the film were thought up along the way during that long four-year trek, so that it kind of evolved naturally. Pan With Us struck me as the most inventive and awe-inspiring, The Man with no Shadow as the most visually appealing, with its tour-de-force constant-moving-perspectives, warm coloring and flowing narrative style. I'd wanted to see When the Day Breaks by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis since I'd first seen a few pieces of it some years ago on the web and been totally taken by the look and feel of it, and I was not disappointed by the film itself, which was probably the most satisfying film in the show to me. It's great that Mike and Don had the good sense to get this film from 1999, the only one of the selection dating from more than 3 years, the distribution it deserved. That consideration was the other selection criterion after submissions. Everyone will have their own favorite, so you can't go wrong.