Animation

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Animation Art

An Uncanny Animated Short by Fernando Livschitz Twists Mundane Scenes into Bizarre Alternatives

April 6, 2021

Grace Ebert

Argentinian director Fernando Livschitz (previously), who helms Black Sheep Films, is back with a surreal short film that envisions everyday activities and scenes with a slightly unsettling spin. Infused with Livschitz’s distinct penchant for humor and absurdity, “Anywhere Can Happen” is set to a rendition of “What a Wonderful World” by Reuben and the Dark and AG and descends into an uncanny universe of galactic rollercoasters, dimension-traveling trains, and oversized hands keen on manipulating the landscape. Watch the animated short above, and find more of Livschitz’s cleverly bizarre projects on Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation Food

A Soothing Stop-Motion Animation Bakes a Rich Chocolate Layer Cake Entirely from LEGO

March 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

When your next ambitious baking project doesn’t pan out, try your hand at a simpler recipe with just one ingredient. Follow Japan-based animator tomosteen through a stop-motion tutorial for a decadent cake layered with chocolate frosting that’s made entirely with LEGO. The ASMR-inducing animation chronicles the baking process from cracking an egg into a yolky block to watching the batter subtly change color to crumbling individual bricks of chocolate for the top. For similar pastry builds like French toast, churros, and a triple-layer cheesecake, head to tomosteen’s YouTube. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Animation

The Beauty: A Poignant Animated Short Film Reimagines Plastic Waste as Ocean Life

March 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Simultaneously stunning and filthy” is how director Pascal Schelbli describes his 2019 short film “The Beauty.” A cautionary reimagining of the world’s rampant plastic pollution, the arresting animation reenvisions waste as lively sea life: a bubble-wrap fish puffs up, a serpentine tire glides through the water, and an entire school of discarded footwear swims in an undulating mass.

As it plumbs the vast expanse of the littered ocean, “The Beauty” magnifies the enduring nature of waste and lays bare the insidious effects of microplastics as they enter the food chain and impact the overall health of the ecosystem. In a statement, Schelbli describes the motivation behind the film, which won a Student Academy Award in 2020:

Instead of showing another mournful stomach full of plastic bags, I thought, ‘what if plastic could be integrated into the sea life and nature solves the problem?’ The film should take you on a journey, where all our feelings of guilt will disappear. But in the end, we wake up and realize that we need to change something.

To see more of the Zürich-based director’s poignant animations, check out his Vimeo and Instagram, and watch a recent Last Week Tonight segment that dives further into the crisis and explains how recycling isn’t the best solution.

 

 

 



Animation

A Stop-Motion Animation Full of Inappropriate Office Behavior Questions the Professional Impact of Motherhood

March 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

What poses the biggest threat to women’s careers? That’s the question behind a new animation by Swedish director Anna Mantzaris (previously) that follows a mischievous character through a series of wildly inappropriate misdeeds and poor office etiquette. Created collaboratively by Passion Pictures and Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, the lighthearted-turned-sincere short film compares snipping off a coworker’s tie or wreaking workplace havoc to the unfair penalties of being a parent.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the stop-motion animation marks the launch of a new Global Women campaign that advocates for an end to the motherhood penalty, or the systemic setbacks women face in the workforce after having children. These disadvantages include everything from “earning an average of 12.5% less across a working lifetime despite working comparable hours to male and non-parent counterparts in their working lifetimes, through to being passed up for promotions and opportunities for advancement simply for being a mother,” the New Zealand-based organization says in a statement.

Mantzaris is known for her distinct style of humor and animations laden with office hijinks, which you can watch on her Vimeo and Instagram. (via Creative Boom)

 

 

 



Animation Music

A Jazz Band Improvises an Entire Track in One Take for an Animated Music Video Honoring the Brushstroke

February 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

The process behind most music videos begins with an audio track that an artist reacts to and pairs with a corresponding visual, an undertaking Vincent de Boer knows well. The Netherlands-based artist has been working with the jazz quartet Ill Considered since 2017, listening to the band’s largely improvised melodies and creating abstract animations, alongside stills for its 11 album covers, to match.

But for their most recent collaboration, “The Stroke,” the group flipped the traditional workflow.  With the help of his creative partner Hans Schuttenbeld, de Boer hand-drew 4,056 frames that range from dark, geometric shapes to gangly creatures to scenes that morph from one trippy composition to the next. Honoring the simple, unpretentious lines of each sweeping mark, the artist bills the completed animation as “the story of a brushstroke: a trace of a movement performed by the artist with his instrument, the paintbrush,” he said in a statement.

Once complete, de Boer shared the project with Ill Considered, who recorded an entirely improvised track on its first viewing. The resulting music video matches the jazzy riffs with de Boer’s shapeshifting sequences in a cohesive conversation between the two artforms.

You can purchase an LP of “The Stroke,” which is packaged with 12 of de Boer’s original artworks on the cover and inside, on Bandcamp, and see the full process behind the animation, including the painstaking drawing process and actual recording session, in the video below. Keep up with de Boer’s latest projects on Instagram and Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation Illustration

A Wildly Relatable Animation About Existential Dread Reminds Us to Enjoy the Moment

February 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

Existential dread, we all have it. A poignant animation by Alisha Liu captures our collective anxiety as it zeroes in on a typical Sunday afternoon in Central Park. The main character (i.e. all of us) breaks the calm with questions about the meaning of life, human insignificance, and of course, the overwhelming feeling that nothing matters. Through minimal scenes, the short film shifts between both mundane moments with passersby and expansive shots of the star-studded galaxy. Ultimately, though, Liu reminds us to get out of our heads and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.

Based in Los Angeles, Liu created the film while in her second year at CalArts, and you can see more of her classmate’s work on Vimeo.