Under 5min. Film: THE SNOWMAN’S HAT, 2min, USA, Animation

Played at the Under 5 Minute June 2017 Film Festival

THE SNOWMAN’S HAT, 2min, USA, Animation
Directed by Jeff DraheimA stop motion snowman adventure.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Review by Kierston Drier

A cheerful wintry work of art, this two minute animation is a beautiful jaunt through the hardships of being snowman. Yes, our hero is a come-to-life snowman sitting in a backyard, when the wind steals his hat and lands it in a tree nearby. Despite our hero’s most handy efforts, he can’t seem to retrieve his hat, until one of his over reaching schemes takes him too far. Literally. He will take flight and meet an airplane with some unflattering results.

But does he get his hat back? That’s a question open for debate. A funny, whimsical, family-friendly piece about not sweating the small stuff, this adorable animation will delight anyone of any age. It might make you watch your own snowmen a little bit harder- just to make sure they aren’t up to something.

Under 5min: VOICING SILENCE, 3min, UK, Animation

Played at the Under 5 Minute June 2017 Film Festival

VOICING SILENCE, 3min, UK, Animation
Directed by Lucy LeeHow do you move forward when events from a distant past continue to cast their grim shadow on the present? Can breaking the silence ever bring a much longed for quietude? Voicing Silence is one woman’s attempt to find her words that have remained muted for so long.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Review by Kierston Drier

A three minute piece coming out of the UK, VOICING SILENCE is an mixed media journey of an adult womans’ recount of her victimization when she was a child. Speaking out in order to heal and give strength to others, her piece is a strong and emotionally impactful one. It’s message is deep and powerful.

What makes this short unique is it’s use of animation. As our heroine recounts her events, she relives the memories in the form of an animated scene. To soften the accounts of abuse by looking through the lenses of animation helps ease both the viewer, and the reteller. It is, as the proverb goes, dipping the tip of the sphere of truth in honey. An excellent cinematic choice and giving the film a unique look, VOICING SILENCE is both powerful and beautiful to watch.

Film Review: CARS 3 (USA 2017)

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

cars 3Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.

Director: Brian Fee

Stars: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Armie Hammer

Review by Gilbert Seah

CARS 3 is the debut animated feature by Brian Fee, the storyboard artist of the other two CARS films and a few other Disney features. As this is a film that Fee has something to prove, the animation is as expected top-notch, as in all the Disney/Pixar films.

The trailer of CARS 3 which shows racing car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) wiping out on a banked racetrack with a fade to black and voiceover promising that things will be different, many will be expecting a blacker sequel and one that would prove more interesting than the other two trivial CARS films. Not so. The terrible crash is just the catalyst for McQueen to want to race again to prove himself. So, there is the usual predictable stuff such as: “You have it in you.” You can prove yourself.” etc. etc. So, all hopes for a blacker CARS film are torn to bits.

The film features a next generation of race cars that includes Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). The cars in the film begin questioning if the famous Lightning McQueen will throw in the towel after he endured a terrible crash. McQueen’s sponsor, Rust-eze, is bought by Sterling (Nathan Fillion), a car who thinks McQueen cannot maintain his image by racing. Lightning asks for a chance to race in the Florida 500 and begins to train with race technician Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), who’s always had her own racing dreams. That pretty sums up a plot that not many can get excited with.

The same problem of animation of cars till exists in all the CARS franchise. Cars are inanimate objects with no limbs nor faces. So it is more difficult to animate cars – to give them expressions and make them distinguishable one from another. A tactic is of course, as used by the animators, is to make the colours bright and different or have different car types on display such as tow trucks.

It is also difficult to get excited over one cartoon car wining a race against another cartoon car. Or for one cartoon car to fall in love with another or feel anything towards a jealous car.

CARS undoubtedly has good animation. The audience can feel the thunder of the race as the audience is given a drivers-look of a race. But the film lacks the humour (goofy or otherwise) and inventiveness that help films like the recent CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS and BOSS BABY become memorable.
THE CARS films have not made the Studios that much money compared to the other animated features. But more than a fair income comes from the share of the toy franchise. So, do not expect much from CARS 3. For it is he same old stuff. Unless one is interested in the animation process, CARS 3 is nothing more than one dull drag of a race.

But wait! There is a short animated feature called LOU preceding CARS. It involves a schoolyard bully who learns that being nice conquers all. The largely silent LOU is smart, well animated, inventive and funny. It subtly teaches kids that bullying is just not cool. Rating for LOU: ****

****
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4K7JgPJ8-s

 

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival:http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month:http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

Film Review: DIRTY POOL, Canada, Animation

Played at the March 2017 ANIMATION Film Festival

  MOVIE POSTERDIRTY POOL, 1min, Canada, Animation
Directed by Brent Forrest

This film is a quick ode to the pool hall where we drunken animators used to spend our evenings.

Review by Kierston Drier:

Full of round, polished, pleasing visuals, this is a story about Balls! Ehhem, pool balls. Pool balls and etiquette. Coming to us from Canada and directed by Brent Forrest, DIRTY POOL is a two minute glance at what can go wrong when you try to play pool with your buddy at the bar.

The story is cute, clear and comical- our heroes go out to play some pool and it all goes frighteningly wrong. But where DIRTY POOL makes it mark is in its visuals. Shiny, bright, visually engaging and with a strong attention to detail, this is a film that will make you want to stop blinking.

If you have ever taken a childlike delight in staring at a old time gumball machine full to bursting with glistening multi colored gumballs, then you have the visual equivalent of watching this film.

Tantalizingly rich, this is a film you can simply watch and enjoy. No need to dissect any deeper philosophical meaning- just watch a great film with great picture, about some hapless dudes making enemies on the wrong side of a pool table.

Sit back and enjoy Dirty Pool, it’s a delight to see.

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO. Moderated by Matthew Toffolo:

Film Review: SNOOT IN THE CITY, Australia, Animation

Played at the March 2017 ANIMATION Film Festival

  MOVIE POSTERSNOOT IN THE CITY, 1min, Australia, Animation
Directed by Stephanie Davidson

On the rooftops above a cold, ironclad city, Snoot lives in a nice, warm home. When an intruder invades, his territorial instincts kick in and it’s up to him to protect his home, even if it means going face to face with a giant house-crushing robot.

Review by Kierston Drier:

This one minute comic animation from Australia, directed by Stephanie Davidson, is a simple film that delivers the whole package- a good story, a charming character, a great twist- in less than 60 seconds.

Snoot, our adorable mouse-y creature, just wants a quiet night roasting their bone at home next to their warm furnace. Snoot won’t get it though. A huge monster is on the horizon and headed right towards are quite hero. But Snoot will not have their evening ruined, and fast thinking is required.

What is great about this film, is that the story is well developed, despite the tiny time allotment. Snoot is able to use what they glean in the first few seconds of the movie to great effect later. By utilizing a faulty heating system and their own sheer grit, Snoot can defend their home and their evening from a hideous invader.

Bravo to Stephanie Davidson and her team. They clearly know that most important part of any film is the story! And to deliver one so clear and comical in a compact 60 seconds is a talented feat. Great job team, Snoot in the City is worth a watch, maybe two!

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO. Moderated b Matthew Toffolo:

Film Review: WALL, Taiwan, Animation

Played at the March 2017 ANIMATION Film Festival

  MOVIE POSTERWALL, 5min, Taiwan, Animation
Directed by Chia-Yin Chou

Their are evolutionary stories happened on ordinary street. The sight from the bottom can only see a huge foot wearing somethings nice , stepping on the poor for fun , giving leftover for handouts occasionally.

Review by Kierston Drier:

Quick, symbolic and filled with stunning visual metaphor, Wall is a piece about social power and economy, although at first glance it gives the cheery tone of a Pixar short. Rats and mice litter the inner city streets-scurrying about as best as a bottom feeder can and praying to the Big cheese above them for the crumbs that filter down.

And against the colorful crowd of feet walking past and a sweeping orchestra of music, one Rat attempts to climb the steep steps to a better future. But is whatever lives above him willing to open its’ doors?

Wall is a funny little film. It’s metaphors are not immediately obvious. Unless you are critically looking at it, this film appears to be a simply physical-schtick comic piece, full of patchwork scurrying mice, a slick fast thinking Rat and a ominous and unknowable villain towering above them.

But if you give it thought, it becomes a deeply layered piece about our society, economy and our difficulty in climbing the corporate ladder, when even its bottom rungs are high above you.

Watch Wall if you want a short, subtle comic piece that is a metaphor to the human rat race. Watch Wall if you want a relaxing visually pleasing comedy. Or watch it simply because it’s good.

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO. Moderated b Matthew Toffolo:

Film Review: MY LIFE I DON’T WANT, Myanmar, Animation

Played at the March 2017 ANIMATION Film Festival

  MOVIE POSTERMY LIFE I DON’T WANT, 12min, Myanmar, Animation
Directed by Nyan Kyal Say

A short animated film about the life of a Myanmar girl inspired by a true story.

Review by Kierston Drier:

With bright simple visuals and powerful symbology, this dramatic and powerful Myanmar animation coming to us from director Nyan Kyal Say is the story of one sunny optimistic young girl put through the hardest sides of life simply because she is born female.

Victim of a systemic gender bias family and society, our heroine is a unrelenting easy to love, even when she walks alone down a road that will lead her to endless heartache.

What makes this piece so admirable is it’s ability to draw on hope- our character is broken again and again by life’s cruel circumstances. She is shuffled from family to family, from one abusive situation to the next, from one misfortune to another- all while appearing to never give up. Until, of course, all seems dark…

But what happens to our heroine is just one story in a sea of heartache. For the issues of gender injustice in our world are plentiful, and the fight for equality rages on.What choice does our heroine have?

Where does she go when all is lost? To know, you must watch the beautiful, simple, powerful and bright film that is My Life I Don’t Want.

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO. Moderated b Matthew Toffolo: