Hey guys, Fenrir here with a very quick bite of some Food for Thought! Last May, we featured some cool student animations from the 2012-2013 school year, and to make the cycle complete, we’ll be taking a look at some of this year’s latest batch of animated features from CalArts! These amazing shorts represent the hard-work, talent, and dedication of up-and-coming animators who will, someday soon, sweep the industry–it’s very exciting to see these young artists strut their stuff! (And to also see the quality for some of these shorts, dang) So if you’re looking for a productive way to procrastinate on that final exam, look no further than at some of these incredible shorts!
So “Steadfast Stanley” is an amazing short for several reasons. One, take a look at John Kody Kim’s stunning layouts–the shots are some of my favorites, dynamic and bold and a perfect fit for the story. Which is also one of the great things about Steadfast Stanley–careful now, it’s a tear-jerker if you’re a dog-lover. John Kody Kim deserves extra kudos for the fantastic animation on our leading-canine, Stanley, giving him such strong personality for our silent, but stalwart hero. (Seriously, dog lovers out there NEED to watch Steadfast Stanley)
Last year we featured Jacob Streilein’s “Punctuwool” and this year he is wowing us again, this time with “There’s a Man in the Woods”. Based off of his own experience of older students scaring the little ones with rumors, Streilein has been waiting to bring at least some of the details of that rumor to life. His style is brilliant, and I love his color palette, which is utterly bright and playful for something that is rather dark.
“Nada Doctor” is a fun short that takes on the drudgery (and bureaucracy) that comes with working in a hospital. And it handles that broad topic with style. I am in love with Mathew Yang’s character designs, which are incredibly fun to watch move about. Plus, he has a pretty awesome sense of humor; the script is fun and the story does have a sweet ending.
Last year we also featured Madeline Sharafian’s playful short, “Omelette”, and this year she has us rooting for a scrappy, little hero again with “Acorn”. There’s a lot to love about Acorn, in my humble opinion, from Sharafian’s style to her color palette and story–but the music strikes out to me a especially lovely and fitting this year.
This 4th year film by Kari Cassady is a sweet film to watch–and incredibly soothing, too. “Nocturne” is pretty solid across all points, in my opinion–with great character design (And style overall), as well as a lovely, little story to tie it all together, and that earworm soundtrack that is just nice in the background.
If you love explosions, you will definitely love Tony Unser’s “Sleep”. Following the misadventures of a girl trapped in the world of the subconscious, “Sleep” is a dazzling trip that is real eye-candy. Again, I have to highlight Unser’s special effects in this film, which are a joy to watch–especially for all your anime fans out there. His animation reel is worth a glance, too!
Ah, now this final film also speaks to me–in a very good way, evoking the epic and executing it beautifully. Toniko Pantoia’s “Tiny Nomad” is superb and is a must-watch. Tiny Nomad has just about everything I could want in a larger animated feature, but executes it brilliantly as a short–and ugh, I’ll just keep gushing about it if you let me speak… But really, give it a whirl, with a moving soundtrack, gorgeous backgrounds and character designs, and another tear-jerker of a story. I’m really looking forward to Toniko’s future in the industry, and hopefully more lovely stories like this one will be realized in full-budget projects!
There are of course, more student films out there–and not just by CalArts students, either! Though I will say, CalArts has done a very smart thing by grouping them all together in a very-easy-to-find way, so if you’re looking for a productive, inspiring way to spend some time, or for some new animated features to sink your teeth into, give these shorts–and their classmates’ works–a whirl!
Annnd that’s all there is for tonight’s Food for Thought~