For People Crazy About 2D Animation!

Acme Punched! is for people crazy about 2D animation. It may be enjoyed by beginners and others, but it is aimed at animators who know already something about the process of animation and the basics of character animation. In large part, it will attempt to provide a deep look into the problem solving that goes on in my head as I work out a scene, often in step-by-step posts that I will sometimes enter in "real time", without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. Mistakes and false starts will not only be included but emphasized, so that the creative process of animation will be portrayed realistically. And, while my own bias is for 2D drawn animation, many of the effects and principles discussed here can apply to CGI 3D animation as well. I hope the blog will prove useful and instructive for all.

-Jim Bradrick

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

No. 76, Animated Short Subjects Oscar Contenders 2015

Today I got a chance to go and see all 5 nominees that made the final cut for Oscar contention in the Animated Short Subject category, plus 4 runners-up.  Let's take a look at what we have here.

The Five Nominees

Me and my Moulton.  14 minutes. Director: Toril Kove. Canada.

2D animation with possible computer assist.  Simple and charming line art about 3 daughters of eccentric Norwegian parents, narrated by the middle girl.

Feast. 6 minutes. USA.

From Disney, a digital film directed by Patrick Osborne about a foodie dog and his foodie owner.  Clever and full of life, with an unusual lighting treatment that is high contrast and sharp edged. Typical Disney character design and movement.

A Single Life. 2 minutes. Netherlands. Directors: Marieke Blaauw, Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen.

The shortest by far of these short films, this is a succinct and quite funny digital film with a character design based on stop motion clay animation.  My pick to win.

The Dam Keeper. 18 minutes.  USA. Directors: Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi.

A perplexing digital film with a flawed storyline about an orphan pig who is both a bullied child in school and an adult burdened with an onerous responsibility for his whole town. The rendering style is painterly and ragged with some quite beautiful color design.

The Bigger Picture. 17 minutes. UK. Director: Daisy Jacobs.

An unusual stop motion film in a combination of kinetic painting and papier maché animation, about two grown men and their elderly mother.  Touching and funny and strange.

The Four Also-Rans

No explanation is given for the selection of these four films which have been included to be distributed with the five nominees.  Whether they were jury favorites or just easily available is not mentioned. Nevertheless, here they are.

Sweet Cocoon. 6 minutes. France.

Hilarious and well-animated digital film about an overweight caterpillar who gets help in getting into her ready-made coccoon  from two elderly beetles.

Footprints. 4 minutes. USA.

2D animation in the unique and highly personal style of Bill Plympton, whom I applaud for making a go of 2D animation while personally not liking his work very much.

Bus Story. 11 minutes. Canada.

2D animation in a primitive style reminiscent of Richard Condie, this film sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada tells the story of a woman whose modest dream is to drive a school bus.

Duet. 4 minutes. USA.

A film by the Disney-trained virtuoso 2D animator Glen Keane, about a boy and girl growing up from babyhood and finally and inevitably coming together as a couple.

Next: Blurring the Pencil Lines: Traditional 2D Animation in 2015 Oscar Entries

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