15th Annual Animation Show of Shows

Animation Show of Shows has come around again this year! Unfortunately the times of the locations nearby me are all during the day when I have class so I didn't get to go anywhere fancy like last year when I got to go to the Dolby Labs' theater. The Show of Shows got to be shown here at AAU at 9am so I woke up early to go. On top of seeing some early animation done by now-famous directors, such as Chris Sanders' pencil test animation from CalArts, and getting to see Disney's new short "Get A Horse" that will be playing in front of Frozen, we were additionally joined by five directors of the films shown today; Bless You, International Father's Day, My Mother is an Airplane; Requiem for Love, and Ascension. Get A Horse This is the short that will be playing in front of Disney's next film, Frozen, that will be in theaters on November 27th. This short went back to the roots of the original Mickey Mouse shorts in the 2D style and the transformative traits of inkblot characters. However, they brought 3D to the short by literally breaking the wall between the two worlds and it was amazing, hilarious, and very well done. The short was created meant for stereoscope and it has some very gag oriented elements, which I typically don't like, with things coming out of the screen towards the audience. Unfortunately the theater at AAU did not have a stereoscope projector so we just watched it in 2D and I would say that it doesn't look as good and even somewhat awkward.

Bless You Starting from an interesting idea of what happens when a person sneezes, the character goes on an epic journey where he sneezes so hard that he turns himself inside out. I initially thought that this film was done in 3D but it was far more complex and interesting than that. The characters are 2D animated with Flash while the environment was created in 3D with Maya, just some simple primitives with textures on them. The part with the brain unraveling is actually stop motion with the brain created with clay.

Nana Bobo This was a short film produced by four graduating students of the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema. It was a beautiful film asking about at what point do we lose our childhood and then turned into a PSA to stop sexual tourism.

International Father's Day An interesting 2D animated film of a father bird looking for food for his chicks. It starts off innocently enough of the bird looking for berries but then escalates as the bird starts taking anything that resembles a berry. It started taking the holes on a flute but then began taking things such as keyholes and spokes of wheels. All the holes gradually fused together to create a portal and the little chicks entered it and appeared on the moon.

My Mom is an Airplane This was an very endearing story that a little boy tells of how while other kids have mothers in various professions, his mother is an airplane. An actual airplane. The airplane mother takes the little boy on her journey around the world to deliver letters and happiness.

Home Sweet Home A lonely house gets fed up with his stationary existence and ventures forth on an adventure of a lifetime, meeting friends and seeing sights along the way. Absolutely beautiful and heartwrenching. The animation was great and so interesting of how human-like the houses were made to be. Even though the characters were houses, I could really tell what type of characters that each represents. The old granny house really looked and felt like as if she was an old woman walking with a cane. The painting on the textures were beautiful and the lighting created some great moods, particularly with the ending.

Requiem for Love A beautifully drawn 2D animated film that stars two ninjas. At first I thought that the animation was sort of strange as it was kind of lethargic and lacking energy, particularly for a fight scene but then I realized that it wasn't about a fight between two characters but the real story is in the dialogue. As the two ninjas interact with each other the dialogue is about a girl and a boy talking on the phone where the girl is breaking up with the boy because of how the parents don't approve of their relationship because, stereotypical Asian parents, wants the girl to marry a nice doctor instead of an artist who will be destitute and poor.

Ascension A beautiful 3D animated film about two mountain climbers who seek to reach the summit to set up a statue of Saint Mary but are beset by troubles when one of the character's arm and leg falls off and so the other must go back down to retrieve them. I love the snow on the mountains that was created for this film. Not only is it just snow on mountain but they even created dynamic particles of snow being blown in the wind as it would happen in reality and it was that little touch that really elevated the visual aspect for me.