Autodidact: self-taught

Aug
31
2013

This Way Up

by V. L. Craven

In This Way Up, a couple of hapless, British undertakers are just trying to get their patron to her destination in one piece and right way up. But everyone has those days…

Aug
24
2013

Infection

by V. L. Craven

Aug
10
2013

Behind Closed Doors by Jonathan Button

by V. L. Craven

Behind Closed Doors

In Behind Closed Doors by Jonathan Button, little Gregory lives in fear of his father and of the monster in his wardrobe. It’s debatable which one is more terrifying, but one evening, as his drunken father is taking his rage out on Gregory’s mother, the little boy decides to meet the monster in his closet.

This is the second film from Jonathan Button (I believe, I could be mistaken) so there’s some room for improvement, but it’s still quite interesting.

My only question is… Why isn’t there anything in Gregory’s wardrobe? I mean, aside from the monster. I know, I know, it’s cruel to keep your monsters in a cramped cupboard, but still, doesn’t the kid have clothes?

Aug
03
2013

Children by Takuya Okada

by V. L. Craven

Children

Children is a 3D CG animation by Takuya Okada about the programming of children to be well-behaved, silent, clones of one another. It’s not just the kids, though. Everything is a copy of everything else. There is zero individuality. It’s a nice little commentary on society’s encouragement of fitting in, of doing as you’re told. If you are the person they tell you to be you always get 100 percent. That rhymed. That’d be the perfect motto of some dystopian world.

The music is a funeral dirge, which is a nice touch, and the palette is grey-brown. Interestingly, the symbol for individuality is black. I rather enjoy that, since people who wear all black in our society are generally looked at as misfits and many filmmakers would have chosen to make the symbol a bright colour.

I couldn’t find other animations by Okada, which was disappointing, but my Google-fu is notoriously weak, so if you know of any, please leave a comment.

Within the first minute or so I thought, this is a twenty-first century ‘Another Brick in the Wall.’

And there are loads of covers of the song, but Marilyn Manson’s is a personal favourite.

Jul
27
2013

The Tale of How

by V. L. Craven

Tale of How Print 3

The Tale of How by The Blackheart Gang is a musical piece about dodos who live in a tree growing out of the head of an octopus named Otto. Otto wants to eat the dodos.

Tale of How 05

Style-wise there’s a bit of William Morris about it, and Tim Burton and Steampunk. And the tentacles swooping things beneath the sea had a Victorian sailors-in-peril vibe.

Tale of How 04

Even aside from those things, I have something of an affinity for dodos, due to my enjoyment of the Thursday Next series and the main character’s pet dodo, Pickwick, who says Plock Plock and loves marshmallows.

Tale of How Print By The Blackheart Gang

Then there’s the eye-popping artwork. All of the images in this post are enlargeable. They are also prints over on their website , as well as other information. Including a ‘Making of’ video.

Tale of How Print 02

It’s been quite some time since they’ve updated the site. I can only hope they’re still working on the other two pieces in the trilogy, because I need to see more dodo adventures!

Jul
06
2013

The Colors of Evil

by V. L. Craven

In the Colors of Evil a goth girl is bullied by chipper girl. Goth girl gets book on demon-summoning. Summons demon that isn’t exactly what she had in mind.

But sometimes you just have to trust your demon to know what it’s doing. I know of what I speak. :wise nods:

Demon Summoning for Kids

You have to start somewhere…

Jun
15
2013

Mortys

by V. L. Craven

Do yourself a favour and maximise this one as big as your screen will allow. Everything about it should be enjoyed at full size.

Mortys is a French animation about Death (if Tim Burton designed Morticia Addams this is probably what she’d look like) who has a young son. Being Death, though, she’s quite busy and doesn’t spend much time with the boy, so he gets a computer that can help streamline the system. And it does. A bit better than planned.

The animation is gorgeous, the script is amusing (I laughed out loud), and the soundtrack is a perfect compliment.

Jun
08
2013

Dji Death Fails

by V. L. Craven

You know those days where you seem you have woken up in a slapstick comedy–you’re tripping over your own feet, stepping on rakes and bashing yourself in the face with the handles–that sort of thing? Well, even Death has days like that. Dji Death Fails tells the story of one of those days. The poor being only wants to reap one soul. One!

With music by Gogol Bordello .

Jun
01
2013

The Backwater Gospel

by V. L. Craven

May
25
2013

The Passenger

by V. L. Craven

May
18
2013

How to Cope with Death

by V. L. Craven

Mar
21
2013

Hotel Transylvania

by V. L. Craven

Hotel Transylvania Banner

I’m probably preaching to the choir, as anyone reading this site is probably already a fan of Hotel Transylvania, but in case you’ve been putting it off because it’s a ‘kids movie’ or something, go watch it now. I’ll wait.

See? Wasn’t that worth it? Don’t you wish you’d watched it sooner?

You didn’t go watch it right then and you’re still reading this post…?

Wow. I thought I knew you better than that, but it’s about Dracula, who, after having a terrible time with humans, built an hotel for monsters (the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Werewolf, etc, but also myriad monsters of stripes I’ve certainly never seen). He’s dreaded the day his little girl turns 118 because then she’ll be old enough to go out into the world that he knows wants nothing more than to harm her. But she’s turning 118 at the weekend and all the monsters in the world are invited to her party.

Pouty Bat Face

Not the pouty bat face! Right in the feels!

After cooking up a plot to scare her off the human world forever, the worst possible thing happens. An American tourist shows up. Dracula knows that if all the other monsters find out the most terrifying thing they can imagine (humans tend to kill monsters, after all) has invaded their safe haven they’ll flee and never return. So Drac gets the young man up in a costume to make him monster-y and he becomes a huge hit at the party. A huge hit with everyone, including Drac’s daughter, ifyouknowwhatImean.

It’s the sort of animation where if you blink you miss five sight gags. The sort you can watch multiple times and be delighted every single time.

The website is great fun, as well. There are games, wallpapers, Facebook covers and Twitter skins, and a downloadable activity book.

And if you’ve already seen Hotel Transylvania (and loved it), I highly recommend Mad Monster Party , which is about a similar situation, but was made in the 60s. And it was TRIPPY.

Mar
16
2013

Please Say Something by David O’Reilly

by V. L. Craven

Please Say Something by David O’Reilly

Mar
09
2013

Jo Jo in the Stars by Mark Craste

by V. L. Craven

JO JO IN THE STARS from STUDIO AKA on Vimeo .

Jo Jo in the Stars is a haunting new school animation with an old school feel. With tinges of Metropolis and Freaks, it’s the story of a robot/creature (that somewhat resembles Eve in Wall-E) forced to perform in a freakshow. One fan decides to rescue her and when his attempt doesn’t go as planned, he devises a much more heart-rending way of being with his love. Though it has very little dialogue, the piece conveys a great deal about sacrifice in the name of devotion.

Feb
09
2013

One Winter’s Night by Emlyn Boyle

by V. L. Craven

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