(Warning: This film contains strong language.)
As I was watching Dan Mountain’s Adventures in Broccoli at the year-end Pratt screening a few months back, I was thinking to myself that not only is this a damn good student film, it’s also something I wouldn’t mind seeing every week on television. The setup is draped in mystery–a boy wakes up in a broccoli (or is he even awake?)–and odd characters and events are introduced into his life in rapid-fire stream-of-conscious fashion. It’s somewhere between Avatar and Adventure Time with equal mixes of action and whimsy. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of any cartoon that gives the hipster-on-a-bicycle his comeuppance.
Dan Mountain will be participating in the comments section so fire away if you want to know anything. Here are some comments from Dan about how the film came about:
Adventures in Broccoli got its title in early May 2008, after about eight months of production, and about forty hours before it was due. This was a very haphazard time, because when I came back to Pratt for the Fall 2007 semester, I had a completely different story already storyboarded, and I was eager to start ASAP on that particular story. However, Pat Smith and Andy London (our class’ thesis advisors) kept telling me that it wasn’t even a story; it was just a bunch of random ideas with the only thread being that it takes place in giant broccoli. This greatly discouraged me, but was the first driving factor to making this.
The problem was that this film is a mere idea of a greater story I have been working on that is sort of an on going social commentary placed in an alternate reality to point out things I think about in this reality. Its a pretty epic story I hope to develop into a series, which is loosely based on The Mars Volta album “De-Loused in The Comatorium”, the evolution of music and the images that come to mind when I listen to music, the colonization of North America, technology, and every day human nature. Also super heroes and the idiots that become them.
I started drawing in October, knowing what I wanted to put in the film, but not how to organize it. I didn’t even have a storyboard; just a few scene animatics that I started placing here and there. Only then did I begin to figure out how to segue between them. This ended up with me accruing a total of about two weeks of all nighters during the Spring 2008 semester. I think that is what made this film so ridiculous; the fact that it was put together on the fly, as it went, while being completely sleep deprived.
Adventures in Broccoli is my first animated film, and I plan to make many more, because I had so much fun making it. It’s funny to sit back and think seriously about how ludicrous you can make a story.