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CBTV Student Fest #2: Tiny Hats by Penelope Gazin

Our offering for the second week of Cartoon Brew TV’s Student Festival is Penelope Gazin‘s Tiny Hats. It was made at CalArts during her freshman year. We were attracted to the film for its concise and fresh storytelling, silly visual style, and catchy song (composed by Gazin herself). Questions and comments can be directed to Penelope in the comments. Here are her notes on the film:

Since this was my first animation, I decided that my only goal was to enjoy myself. That way, I could push any expectations or pressures aside, and just learn what I loved most about the animation process. I squeezed in every art form I love: animation, illustration, painting, stop motion, song writing and ukulele playing. I still don’t know if that was the best approach in terms of the finished product, but I had so much fun making this thing that I have no regrets. I was pulling all nighters months before it was due just because I couldn’t stop working on it. I never made a storyboard, a character model sheet, or a script for the film. The song (which narrates the plot) wasn’t written until after I had finished animating. I jumped into this project with very little idea of what I was doing and how to even do any of it not knowing or caring if anything would come together. As a result I ended up learning in a very organic and intuitive way and I am glad I was reckless enough to go about it the way that I did. My goal is to have my own cartoon show with my brothers.

See more of Penelope Gazin’s work on her Flickr page.

  • Thomas

    It’s incredible how most of the animations I’ve seen lately have been made without much thought before hand. The animators just jump right into it having as much fun as they possibly can and the end product comes out great. But having fun is what it’s all about, right?

    As for this animated piece, lovely. I love the mixed media/art forms. Keep up the great work and you’ll get that show with your bros!

  • Vitaliy Strokous

    That was just as awesome the second time around, Panelope. Good job!

  • Someday we’re gonna conquer this shithole and enforce our Gazin law on the lesser people.

  • MJ


  • good lord, i loved it.

  • I keep watching this over and over again. I think it’s the music, it’s very playful and fun.

  • mufasa

    I really liked the colors. I thought the relationship between the two protagonist was very interesting. It reminded that you are not a pedophile persay, if you get erected peniley by a twelve year old boy, IF he is portrayed by Robin Williams in the film, Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

  • Love it!! I re-watched this ten times just to see all of the intricate details happening in the background.

  • Max

    I found this to be a deeply moving fairy tale that, ultimately, transcends that genre and rises to the level of a profound and beautifully realized spiritual parable.

  • ann

    i’m taking off my tiny hat to you penelope! this was so much fun to watch. i hope you make more animations with songs.

  • Billie Jean

    i love this so much. i love this girl and i love the tiny little dead thing on her head and i love that they’re going to be friends forever. im going to have this song in my head for awhile.
    and, really really great work.

  • gingersoll

    I LOVE it! Fearless switching from one medium to another, not the work of an animator sweating bullets over all the nitpicks and ”laws” of animation, all energy spent on making expressive visuals and an engaging story!

  • E. L. Kelly II

    To all the wonderful things you have said about this wonderful film, may I add:

    Best film I ever saw in which I perceived a grossout humor theme. Truly a bright, colorful, varied enjoyment festival.
    What can I say? At the very instant I saw the girl feed her head-creature a fresh-picked booger, I was…guess what? PICKING MY NOSE! That moment was sublime.

  • Shai

    And Not ONE word about Tiny Tim (r.i.p)?


  • Hamas

    So amazing.

  • STEF

    Ahi Dios! I really don’t know where to begin…. It was kind of shocking to know that there was so little planning in the steps to reach the goal, that shows to be this magical shiny piece of animation. I would say it’s like a snot that gives wishes, or a sore toenail that brings good luck! What I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t have known you weren’t so strict until I read it. Despite how it was done, it has a real harmony to it. Kind of a kid-like storytelling, where you really pulled your inner child out and said “lets play!”

    It’s not common to see things so fresh. Besides, as oposed to what happens most of the time, the would-be-groutesque imaginery in the film nurtured it to be funny, cute, and unique! I wished I could know if you used an exposure sheet of any sorts, and also, who did the bald head’s voice! It struck me as a voice I would like for a character of mine.

    Either way, I can’t wait to see more stuff from you soon! If this is what you can do out of the blue, I wonder what will turn up when you have all figured out for a project before jumping at it.. Cheers! c:

    • Thanks so much for your comments!

      To answer your questions:
      1. I don’t know what an exposure sheet is so I am guessing I didn’t use one.

      2. The bald man’s head was actually the same voice who did the high pitched singing. I just lowered it slightly in garage band.

      Here’s a link to my vimeo but nothing impressive is on it yet. Check back next May when I will have my new film up!