Posts tagged ‘Animation’

January 8, 2013

The Story of Stuff

Annie Leonard

The Story of Stuff is a 2007 short polemical animated documentary about the lifecycle of material goods. The documentary is critical of excessive consumerism and promotes sustainability. Filmmaker Annie Leonard wrote and narrated the film, which was funded by Tides Foundation, Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, Free Range Studios and other foundations.

 The video divides up the materials economy into a system composed of extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. To articulate the problems in the system, Leonard adds people, the government, and corporations. Leonard’s thesis, ‘you cannot run a linear system on a finite planet indefinitely’ is supported throughout the video by statistical data.

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July 5, 2012

American Pop

American Pop

American Pop is a 1981 American animated musical drama film produced and directed by Ralph Bakshi. The film tells the story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music. The majority of the film’s animation was completed through rotoscoping, a process in which live actors are filmed and the subsequent footage is used for animators to draw over.

However, the film also uses a variety of other mixed media including water colors, computer graphics, live-action shots, and archival footage. Michael Barrier, an animation historian, described ‘American Pop’ as one of two films that demonstrated ‘that Bakshi was utterly lacking in the artistic self-discipline that might have permitted him to outgrow his limitations.’

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July 3, 2012

Allegro Non Troppo

allegro non troppo

Allegro Non Troppo is a 1976 Italian animated film directed by Bruno Bozzetto. Featuring six pieces of classical music, the film is a parody of Disney’s ‘Fantasia,’ two of its episodes being arguably derived from the earlier film. The classical pieces are set to color animation, ranging from comedy to deep tragedy. At the beginning, in between the animation, and at the end are black and white live-action sequences, displaying the fictional animator, orchestra, conductor and filmmaker, with many humorous scenes about the fictional production of the film.

Some of these sections mix animation and live action. In music, an instruction of ‘allegro ma non troppo’ means to play ‘fast, but not overly so.’ In the context of this film, and without the ‘ma,’ it means ‘Not So Fast!’, an interjection meaning ‘slow down’ or ‘think before you act.’ The common meaning of ‘allegro’ in Italian is ‘joyful.’ The title reveals therefore a catch with the dual meaning of ‘allegro,’ and can also be read as ‘joyful, but not so much’ or ‘not overly joyful.’

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March 25, 2012

Heavy Metal

gloria by Angus McKie

Heavy Metal is a 1981 Canadian fantasy-animated film directed by Gerald Potterton and produced by Ivan Reitman and Leonard Mogel, who also was the publisher of ‘Heavy Metal magazine,’ the basis for the film. The screenplay was written by Daniel Goldberg and Len Blum.

The film is an anthology of various science fiction and fantasy stories adapted from the magazine and original stories in the same spirit. Like the magazine, it has a great deal of graphic violence, nudity, and sexuality. Its production was expedited by having several animation houses working simultaneously on different segments, including CinéGroupe and Atkinson Film-Arts.

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March 8, 2012

Dimensions of Dialogue

Jan Svankmajer

Dimensions of Dialogue (Czech: ‘Možnosti dialogu’) is a 1982 Czechoslovak animated short film directed by Jan Švankmajer. It is 14 minute long and created with stop motion. The animation is divided into three sections:

‘Exhaustive discussion’ shows Arcimboldo-like heads gradually reducing each other to bland copies; ‘Passionate discourse’ shows a clay man and woman who dissolve into one another sexually, then quarrel and reduce themselves to a frenzied, boiling pulp; and ‘Factual conversation’ consists of two elderly clay heads who extrude various objects on their tongues (toothbrush and toothpaste; shoe and shoelaces, etc.) and intertwine them in various combinations.

July 25, 2011

Wave Twisters


Wave Twisters (2001) is an animated film, also known as the first turntablism-based musical. It is based on DJ Q-Bert’s album of the same name. The film is entirely scripted to match the DJ Q-Bert recording. As such, it can seem a little disjointed at times. It was produced digitally using Adobe After Effects and a relatively small team of animators. Buckethead makes a short appearance in the film as well, near the beginning.

A crew of heroes is determined to save the lost arts of Hip Hop. Break Dancing, Graffiti, MCing, and DJing from total extinction. The lost arts are being oppressed throughout inner-space by lord Ook and his evil minions the Chinheads. The dental commander Dr. Julio Azul DDS, assumed to be secretary Honey Drips, Dental Hygienist/Robot Rubbish, and Grandpa have a series of adventures, synced to the music. Armed with the ancient relic known as the Wave Twister (a small turntable/wristwatch, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat their enemies), they travel to the far ends of inner-space for a final confrontation with the sinister army of oppressors. The film ends with the team teaching the liberated the lost fundamentals of hip hop.

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