It’s awards season and we’ve got one of our own to hand out on Cartoon Brew: our 2012 Student Animation Festival Audience Award.
We debuted ten student films last year—each excellent in their own way—as part of our Student Animation Festival. In addition to the award money that each of the filmmakers has already received, the readers of Cartoon Brew now have the opportunity to bestow the audience prize on their favorite film. The filmmaker(s) who tops the poll will receive an additional $500 (US).
The poll below will close next Wednesday, January 16, at noon (PST). For convenient judging, the ten shorts are embedded below the poll.
SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED! WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SOON!
The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.
Peace One Day by Phoebe Halstead and Angie Phillips
Money Bunny Blues by Ellen Coons
Ballpit by Kyle Mowat
Otzi by Evan Red Borja
Troubleshooting by Eric Ko
Gum by Noam Sussman
Snail Trail by Philipp Artus
Pest by Nooree Kim
21 Years in 7 Minutes by Caroline Torres
Ballad of Poisonberry Pete by Adam Campbell, Elizabeth McMahill and Uri Lotan
This list of animated features coming out in 2013 focuses primarily on animated films produced by the major Hollywood studios set for release in the U.S. We’ve rounded it out with a few foreign animated movies of note. Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew’s homepage for extensive coverage of foreign and indie animated films throughout the year.
Escape from Planet Earth (2/14/13)
Astronaut Scorch Supernova finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet.
Director: Callan Brunker
Production Company: Blue Yonder Films
Distributor: Weinstein Company
Voice Cast: Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brendan Fraser Film Website
The Croods (3/22/13)
The world’s very first prehistoric family goes on a road trip to an uncharted and fantastical world.
Directors: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: 20th Century-Fox
Voice Cast: Emma Stone, Nichloas Cage, Ryan Reynolds Film Website
A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place.
Directors: Chris Wedge
Production Company: Blue Sky
Distributor: 20th Century-Fox
Voice Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Colin Ferrell Film Website
Monsters University (6/21/13)
A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at the University of Fear — when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends.
Director: Dan Scanlon
Production Company: Pixar
Voice Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi Film Website
Despicable Me 2 (7/3/13)
Gru, the girls, the unpredictably hilarious minions and a host of new characters return.
Directors: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
Production Company: Illumination
Voice Cast: Steve Carrel, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig. Film Website
A garden snail with dreams of becoming the fastest snail in the world experiences a freak accident that might just allow him to realize his goal.
Directors: David Soren
Production Company: Dreamworks
Distributor: 20th Century-Fox
Voice Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson Film Website
The Smurfs 2 (7/31/13)
The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel since she knows a secret spell that can turn the evil sorcerer’s newest creation – creatures called the Naughties – into real Smurfs.
Director: Raja Gosnell
Production Company: Sony Animation
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Technique: Live Action/CG
Voice Cast: Katy Perry, George Lopez, Jonathan Winters Film Website
An animated adventure that follows a young crop-duster named Dusty as he looks to compete in a perilous around-the-world race.
Director: Klay Hall
Production Company: Disneytoon Studios
Voice Cast: Jon Cryer, Carlos Alazraqui Film Website
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: Revenge of the Leftovers (9/27/13)
Flint Lockwood now works at The Live Corp Company for his idol Chester V. But he’s forced to leave his post when he learns that his most infamous machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids.
Directors: Cody Cameron, Kris Pearn
Production Company: Sony Pictures Animation
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Voice Cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris and Will Forte Film Website
Free Birds (formerly Turkeys) (11/1/13)
Two turkeys travel back in time to remove turkey from the Thanksgiving holiday menu.
Director: Jimmy Hayward
Production Company: Reel FX
Voice Cast: Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler, Lesley Nicol, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David
A mountain climber and a young girl named Anna journey through snowy peaks and dangerous cliffs to find the legendary Snow Queen and end the perpetual winter prophecy that has fallen over their kingdom.
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Production Company: Disney Animation Studios
Voice Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff Disney Animation Studios Website
Metegol “Foosball” (Argentina and Spain)
The film tells the story of Amadeo, a shy but talented boy, and of a foosball team that is trying to get back together after having been dismantled.
Directors: Juan José Campanella
Production Companies: 100 Bares, Catmandú Entertainment, Plural-Jempsa, Antena 3 Films, Canal +, La Sexta
Distributor: Universal Pictures International
Voice Cast: Pablo Rago, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Fabian Gianola Official Website
Ernest and Celestine (French)
The story of an unlikely friendship between a bear, Ernest, and a young mouse named Celestine.
Directors: Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner
Production Companies: La Parti Productions, Les Armateurs, Maybe Movies
Distributor: Gkids (in the U.S.)
Voice Cast: Pauline Brunner, Lambert Wilson, Anne-Marie Loop Les Armateurs Website
The Wind is Rising (Japan)
A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.
As we approach the end of another year, let us take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of the animation community members who we lost in 2012. Some of these people devoted their entire lives to animation while others worked in interrelated fields and only occasionally ventured into frame-by-frame territory. What they all share in common is that they enriched the art form in a unique and meaningful way.
Should you wish to explore the work of these people further, many of the names below are linked to more detailed posts about the life and work of the artist. If we have inadvertently omitted any names of animation community members who passed away in 2012, please let us know in the comments.
Today is bittersweet because we are presenting the final film in our 2012 Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. But we are delighted that this film is an extraordinarily unique achievement in computer animation.
Snail Trail comes to us from Germany, where it was made by Philipp Artus at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. The film draws an ingenious link between two disparate things: the spiral of a snail shell and the concept of exponential acceleration (don’t worry, we had to look up the latter one too).
Mere description fails to do this film justice though. Snail Trail is an intensely visceral experience. Excitement and surprise abound in every frame, even as the film celebrates the mathematical order of the universe. The snail’s dynamic evolution in mobililty is eloquently expressed through a luminescent line that curls and stretches across the screen. Artus achieved the fading trail of images by projecting his computer animation with lasers onto a phosphorescent material.
The totality of Artus’s vision is startlingly beautiful. Snail Trail, quite simply, uses computer animation in ways that we have not seen before, and the results are astounding.
Today, in Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival, we’re pleased to present Troubleshooting by Eric Ko, of the Rhode Island School of Design. Produced as minimalist as any film could be; Ko uses only simple line figures in black and white to take us on a journey, from a routine morning bus ride to a spectacular sci-fi apocalypse, with one surprise after another. Like his slacker protagonist, Ko is a self-assured filmmaker with a sly sense of humor and a fine sense of visual storytelling Troubleshooting has an imaginative premise, superb execution and proves, in this case, that less is more, as long as someone hits the “reset” button.
Today, as part of Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival, we’re delighted to present Ballpit by Kyle Mowat of Canada’s Sheridan College. What begins in pure abstraction slowly reveals itself to be an evolutionary tale–albeit an unconventional evolution that blends organic materials with the mechanical. The film could be dissected, but the total effect is what makes it memorable. Ballpit delights the eyes and yields visual suprises at every turn. The riot of color, the patterns of shapes, the rhythms of movement–it is the joyous possibilities of animation distilled into 90 seconds.
We’re proud to present a new entry in Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival: Peace One Day by Phoebe Halstead and Angie Phillips of London’s Kingston University. The film was made in support of the non-profit organization Peace One Day, to raise awareness for The International Day of Peace on September 21st. Two people battle each other as civilizations are built and torn down around them. Their uniforms–sometimes recognizable and sometimes abstracted into colorful shapes and forms–change at a frenzied pace, but the combatants and violent behavior remains ever the same. The powerful anti-war statement is heightened by Halstead and Phillips’ strong visual concept that smartly ties together violence throughout history and geography.
Move over, Bazooka Joe! Welcome to the latest–and possibly most outrageous–selection in this year’s Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival: Gum by Noam Sussman of Canada’s Sheridan College. A mere sixty seconds, Gum begins with a bizarre premise and keeps building. Filmmaker Sussman topps (pun intended) every scene with an even funnier one using zany drawings, assured staging, and a “what-did-I-just-see” attitude, making this a whole bunch of politically incorrect fun.
Welcome to a special mid-week edition of Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival. Today, we’re excited to present the online debut of Pest by Nooree Kim of Oakville, Canada’s Sheridan College. This is either genius–or the stuff of nightmares. Inspired and subversive, Pest is our kind of cartoon fun. Outrageous character, silly pranks, beautifully staged and fully realized. Oh yeah, and leaving you wanting more: the true mark of a successful project. Kim can draw, has a point of view and is funny.
Today, as part of Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival, we’re delighted to present Money Bunny Blues by Ellen Coons of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. As stop motion animation in feature films becomes slicker and increasingly indiscernible from CGI, it’s refreshing to find a stop motion short that embraces the technique’s quirky and whimsical possibilities. The film’s setting is an intricate handmade universe comprised of common household objects–candy, coins, fruit, playing cards. Within this fantasy backdrop and accompanied by a folksy, unadorned song of economic woe, loose-limbed Dolly attempts to connect with the elusive Money Bunny. Whether you’re in need of a few bucks or have more money than you know what to do with, the free-spirited charm of Money Bunny Blues will put a smile on your face.
Over two years ago, we instituted a strict “no links to crowdfunding” policy. In other words, we will never post links to any fundraising projects on Kickstarter, IndieGogo, or any other number of sites. If it’s a noteworthy project for reasons other than the creator needing money, we may write about it at a later date, but only after the fundraising campaign has ended.
To be clear, we have no issues with artists who use crowdfunding to raise funds for animation projects. We instituted the policy as a response to the growing volume of film funding requests, which threatened to overwhelm our ability to focus on more important topics, like films that have already been finished. Even though we haven’t linked to any crowdfunding projects in over two years, we still receive multiple submissions every single day–imagine the volume if we actually linked to them.
Further, if we linked to projects or artists whose work we personally enjoyed, we could be accused of giving unfair preferential treatment to certain people. Within the tight-knit animation community, we didn’t want to constantly be put in the position of defending ourselves about why we supported one person in their efforts to raise money and not another. The easiest solution was to remove ourselves from the fundraising pool and remain as objective observers of the broader fundraising scene.
In the two years since we’ve instituted the policy, crowdfunding has grown to become an even bigger part of the animation world. Today, mainstream artists like Phil Tippett and Ken Duncan use it to raise funds, and more ambitious projects are being undertaken thanks to this new type of film funding. We thought it would be a good time to revisit the issue and we want to hear what readers think.
Do you think we should treat crowdfunding submissions as we do any other news submission and give them editorial consideration for Cartoon Brew? Should we only focus on projects from established artists who have mainstream credits under their belt? Should we be completely objective and post any crowdfunding submission if they pay a small fee to be listed on Cartoon Brew? Or should we continue with our existing policy and not link to any fundraising efforts? There are any number of ways to handle this and we’re open to your suggestions.
PS – Just to be clear, we are not changing our policy anytime soon so don’t send us crowdfunding links.
Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival proudly presents Ballad of Poisonberry Pete by Adam Campbell, Elizabeth McMahill and Uri Lotan from Ringling College of Art and Design. The filmmakers give fresh life to the tried-and-true Western genre by inserting a left-field element into the mix: baked goods. Despite the brief running time, the filmmakers create distinctive personalities and designs for all the characters. Dramatic shot composition, atmospheric lighting, and appropriate music complete this tongue-in-cheek tribute to classic Western films.
Cartoon Brew’s Student Animation Festival proudly presents Otzi by Evan Red Borja (School of Visual Arts). Borja’s film is highly imaginative, laugh out loud, and thought-provoking–and did we mention super entertaining. Borja uses an efficient line style, but doesn’t skimp on the animation, which is creative and perfectly suited to the style. The vocal track enhances the fun with Fleischer-like verbal mutterings.