Animation

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Animation

A Transfixing Animation Utilizes the Optical Illusions of Pareidolia to Parallel Two Narratives About Birth

June 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

Created by London-based animator and artist Vier Nev, “A Mind Sang” plunges into an entrancing journey of life’s stages. The short film is centered on themes of transformation as it hypnotically shifts perspectives scene-by-scene. “It began with twenty drawings I had created about different cultural representations of birth and identity. I find that in my drawings I often come back to the same characters: queer couples, mothers, and, for some inexplicable reason, cats,” Nev said in a Vimeo interview.

Relying on pareidolia—the tendency to see objects or patterns where they physically don’t exist—each frame simultaneously depicts two different narratives. “I wondered if I could create a film that merged the stories of these characters into the same shapes and shadows,” Nev said. The characters seamlessly change from fully realized figures into amorphous shapes, animals, and single body parts throughout the illusory project.

Although Nev originally planned for the entire film to be black and white, he instead infused bits of crimson and shades of violet. “The two red moments are particularly special to me as they signal moments where blood (sangue) fills the frame,” he said. “First as fire and then as water, blood represents death or birth.”

“A Mind Sang” recently won a Staff Pick Award at the 2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Check out stills of the transformative project on Nev’s Instagram, and follow his upcoming animations on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation

A Minimally Animated Paper Box Expresses a Surprising Range of Human Emotions

June 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

Most health experts say you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions, and an amusing new animation by Paris-based designer Benoit Leva proves you can’t box them up either. “I am Square” features a white, paper carton that’s literally bursting with emotions and feelings. Coinciding with a series of prompts, the box retreats when shy, floats in a dreamy state, and turns pink in a moment of empathy. To check out more of Leva’s emotive—and relatable—animations, head to Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation

Autumn Leaves Crackle and Writhe Like a Flame in Short Film by Animator William Crook

June 8, 2020

Anna Marks

In “Stickmatch,” a new short film, a matchstick-like twig lands onto the screen, and with one long strike, it spontaneously ignites flames. These sparks don’t manifest in their usual form, though. The flames are replaced with leaves from various trees that are colored all the hues of autumn, from bright green to amber yellow. 

Created by William Crook, a London-born animator who now lives in Zürich, “Stickmatch” was an undertaking at a residency at Sasso in Italy. The sounds throughout the animation contain a mashup of crackling flames and crispy leaves rustling underneath feet. As the film plays, the miniature leaves dance to the “oxygen” around them, and the little twig becomes shorter and shorter until it’s no more. 

To watch more of Crook’s animated projects, visit Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation

2,863 Prescription Pills and Candy Cycle Through a Satirical Animated Short

May 30, 2020

Grace Ebert

Animation director Patrick Smith ingeniously interchanges a variety of pills, capsules, and syringes with similarly shaped candy in a vertiginous new short film. Parodying the ubiquity of modern pharmaceutical use, “Candy Shop” opens by noting that there are a staggering 11,926 prescription drugs available to consumers. Smith shows only 2,863 as he juxtaposes them with individually wrapped sweets, boxes of Gobstoppers, and rolls of Hubba Bubba Tape, which are eerily comparable in size, shape, and color.

Smith shares more of his animated projects on Vimeo, in addition to some behind-the-scenes shots on Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation Art

A Carnivalesque Short Film by Fernando Livschitz Imagines a Buoyant Vienna

May 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

Vienna is like…,” a new animated short by Fernando Livschitz (previously), brings a heavy dose of the absurd to the Austrian capital. The director, who’s from Argentina and heads Black Sheep Films, captures an imagined Vienna in which historic buildings float in the air and a massive, multicolored slinky connects public transit cars. Watch the full animation that’s set to a circus-style tune below, and head to Vimeo and Instagram, where Livschitz shares more of his amusing films.

 

 

 



Animation

A Woman and A Fish Time Travel Through A Heartfelt Short Film Directed by Ben Brand

May 11, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Does everything you throw in the ocean eventually come back to you?” asks Amsterdam-based director Ben Brand. His new short film, titled “Sea You,” opens with a gray-haired woman sitting at her dining table, except rather than a tear rolling down her cheek, it retreats to her watering eye. This sets in motion a series of events chronicled in reverse: the protagonist is shown riding her bike backward toward the market, while the fish she intended to eat earlier undergoes a packing process in which it’s unwrapped.

Brand said the sincere animation was born out of a story of loss. “When my girlfriend told me the story of her family spreading her deceased grandmother’s ash over the sea (like a lot of people around the world do), I started wondering what actually happens to all that ash,” he writes. As the director reveals in “Sea You,” everything released into the water somehow returns.

Watch the full video below, and follow Brand’s thoughtful animations on Vimeo and Instagram.