Not since The Beatles have we witnessed a quartet as strong as the 4 finalists in the animation category of the Vimeo awards. Hailing from Canada, France, Germany & USA, this eclectic collection of stories told by giving life to inanimate objects or character designs using computer technology or frame by frame animation really does feature some of the best animations (and some of our personal favourites) we’ve had the pleasure of viewing online here at DN towers.
CROSSOVER BY FABIAN GRODDE
With Crossover, Grodde’s meticulous attention to detail means he has created a world that we can believe in and engage with, by inhabiting an “elaborately designed miniature setting of a forest” with tribes of immaculately designed CGI insects. With a nod to King Kong and a reference to the spread of Christianity around the world, Crossover’s beautifully-realised microscopic world works in perfect contrast with the grand ideas covered in its powerful narrative.
UMBRA BY MALCOLM SUTHERLAND
Writing about Sutherland’s animation 18 months ago, I hailed Umbra as something we needed to celebrate due to its glorious uniqueness and time certainly hasn’t lessened my feelings towards this singular creation. With Umbra, Montreal based filmmaker/animator Sutherland has created a universe only possible in animation, using narrative to push the boundaries of the medium and create a short that instantly felt timeless. Malcolm has showcased his distinctive animated style in other standout shorts Bout, La Fete and A to B.
LITTLE BOAT BY NELSON BOLES
Opening with a roughly drawn boat, floating in a sea of nothingness, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Little Boat as ‘nothing-special’ within it’s opening seconds. However, as Boles’ tale continues and his vessel progresses on its journey, his film soon evolves into a mesmerising voyage through weird and wonderful worlds full of monkeys, sea-monsters and war. Not only does Boles manage to successfully appoint an inanimate object as his film’s main character, but the titular Little Boat’s evolution throughout the film’s action-packed 4-minute duration has viewers willing the battered vessel to its final destination (wherever that may be).
LES CHIENS ISOLÉS BY CRCR
French outfit CRCR (who we’ve featured on DN twice before – with Todor & Petru and Vésuves), manage to create an animation featuring the heady mix of oil-rig workers, imaginary wolves and the viewing of a Scunthorpe vs Barnsley football match, without it somehow descending into unstructured chaos and excessive-weirdness. In fact, despite the odd subjects covered in its story and the heavily-stylised look of Les chiens isolés, there remains a level of believability and realism in this short that only adds to its ominous feel and intriguing nature.
Demonstrator in Online Journalism at Bournemouth University by day and obsessive independent film fan by night. DN is the perfect outlet for these two worlds to combine. Twitter: @kung_fuelvis