Cartoon Brew TV #21: <em>Together!</eM> Cartoon Brew TV #21: <em>Together!</eM>

Cartoon Brew TV #21: Together!

We’ve got a new short on Cartoon Brew TV today: Together! (2009) directed by David Sheahan. This was a thesis film created at Pratt Institute. David is participating in the comments section below so fire away if you have any questions. Also, be sure to visit his website where he’s posted concept artwork and the original music that he composed for the film.

Here are director’s notes from Mr. Sheahan:

In the real world, you would never expect things to go well in the personal lives of bugs. You probably wouldn’t care. But this unhappy insect couple are fascinating and familiar. Yet at the same time, they are the squashably despicable stars of my film Together!

It’s fun and and traditional to hang a cartoon around a collection of gags and slapstick. I toyed with making that kind, but story drives this film. There is just enough symbolism in Together! to punctuate any gut reaction with a question mark. The main symbol is the television, representing the sinister side of the illusions that so often guide our lives. We all know that the glowing screens we watch make a nice, sticky trap.

It’s tricky to place my influences. Today, Madame Butterfly. Tomorrow, Meet the Feebles. So far, I’ve heard S. Clay Wilson. Amid mentioned Ralph Bakshi. I love late-Thirties and early-Forties American cartoons. I try not to imitate them though. That would bore me.

I benefited from getting to know New York animators while working on Superjail!, and from the talented students around me, all of whom I look up to in one way or another: Maya Edelman, Javan Ivey, Katie Cropper, Jake Armstrong, and Kat Morris (among many others). Thanks to all.

  • That was wonderful.

  • This is incredible. I’m beyond happy it exists. Consider me a fan of David Sheahan.

  • That was great! Awesome movement and it had that great bouncing gooey fluidity that reminded me of the final scenes in Akira. The story was entertainingly twisted too.

  • Crystal (RB)

    That was

    I know I’m speechless.

  • That was quite something.

    It reminded me a lot of “The Big Snit”, in the best possible way: funny, tragic and wholly creative!

    Thank you, David Sheahan!

  • Awesome cartoon. I loved it. Did you use paper or a tablet, or combination of both? I especially loved the character design and the camera moves in z-depth over a flat image (i believe the opening shot). Great use of space and color and the animation was excellent. Well done. My morning coffee is looking stranger than usual……I’m taking it black today. Can’t risk sour milk, or death.

  • love it!!

  • I kept hearing about this short, but hadn’t had a chance to see it yet. What a knock out! This is my favorite episode of CBTV yet, but also one of my favorite shorts of the past year or two. Nice work David!

  • That was great…really cool colors and design and everything. And I never thought I would feel for a roach character!

  • AJ

    Fire everyone in positions of power in animation and put David Sheahan in charge!

  • Katie Cropper

    DAVID! I love your film so much, really I hope it gets more days in the sun like today :D

  • Fred Cline

    Fun and inventive, cynical and twisted. It reminds me of some of the better indie animation of the 1970’s (I say that affectionately). I like it indeed!

  • Tom Pope


  • Amazing work, David! Beautifully animated and weird as hell! Can’t wait to see more from you!

  • This is amazing! Really nice characters and animation.

  • Saw this at the Pratt Senior show last May and was absolutely blown away! So beautifully drawn and composed. Really glad its online to share now.

  • Mike Johnson

    Gleefully, awesomely, twistedly brilliant!

    Haven’t laughed this hard at anyting in a long long time!

    Loved the character design, the voices were perfect and the overall production design was just…amazingly gooey!

    Very nice work…I really look forward to whatever comes from you in the future, David!

  • Some good stuff there but it kinda left me cold. Not a fan, sorry

  • A lot of people need beauty in their art. They miss out on a lot.

  • YAY! Now I can watch it Whenever I Want! This is amazing D-O!

  • That was ridiculous, gross, and hilarious all at the same time.

    My main question is were you looking at any references for the movement? Sometimes I have a hard time getting that cartoonish exaggerated quality, so any suggestions you have on that front would be lovely.

  • BEAUTIFUL! To say the least.

  • Felicia Spano

    I had the pleasure of meeting David interning at Augenblick and we’ve had some great discussions and I’ve learned alot simply talking to him. Super nice guy and obviously SUPER talented. Way to go, buddy!

  • Wow!!! I absolutely love it, it’s amazing!!

    I’m really curious to know more about the process- someone already asked about tablet use. How long did it take? Was it Flash like Superjail?

    David, thanks for making this, it’s hilarious and wonderful and full of personality!

  • Super great, I love the fluidity, line and story.

  • greaney

    wow, that was awesome…

  • Gio

    Crazy shit, I loved it. I love the fact that their apartment is right near a gutter AND theres shit being pumped there! haha.. David I have a question, how did you color this? Did you use paper animation at all? All flash? whats the word?? thanks man, cant wait to see more.

  • Awesome short, David! Hope you keep making them without the pressures of school telling you to do so!

  • Doofus

    This was amazing. This is really something else. :D

  • Chris Smigliano

    Boy, was that strange!
    We NEED more strange….

  • Paymore A. Tension

    #21? are you counting back down to 0?

  • So cool, very exciting animation

  • This is the most amazing animated short I’ve seen in a long time!

    Original & refreshing

  • Adz

    Hi David, how long did it take you to animate this? It’s so funny, I’ve watched it 3 times.

  • Allan Shelby

    It’s amazing Dolores-your work is great and original….

  • Congrats Dave! Your film was the best of the bunch at Pratt!

  • Hey guys, thanks for all of the responses!

    sean: It was a combination. I started animating Candice on paper to get the hang of her cellulite or whatever the bug version of that would be called. But then I went to using a stylus, to save time (which I may or may not have done, but that was the intention).

    madison: Yeah, I videoed myself acting out Candice, just getting a feel for her, mainly before deciding exactly what her lines were! It was a lot of fun. At first, I drew her skeleton so as not to get confused by the exterior bulges.

    brett: It wasn’t done as efficiently as Superjail! But I didn’t zoom in as far, either!

  • ps, sorry it has taken me so long to get in on the comments. I’m at the Ottawa Film Festival. If anyone’s up here, you might see me shuffling down the sidewalk or slamming coffees!

    i love your stuff, and always have. i cant wait to see what the next psychotic yet charming thing you do next! i hope its an animation!

  • e-squared

    wonderful! the character design is reminiscent of gahan wilson’s artwork from national lampoon magazine…was his work an influence of yours, david?

    absolutely brilliant! thank you for this disturbingly funny, thought-provoking film!

  • Deaniac

    Wow. This blew my mind.
    Fantastic animation, nice backgrounds and amazing music. And kudos for the macabre character designs. That spider was freakishly disturbing at 3:29-3:30. *shudders*

    Did you really use Flash to create this? Because it looks too good to be made with that software.

    Overall, great job. Keep it up.

  • I know I’ll probably tell you this tomorrow, but that was SERIOUSLY ONE OF THE COOLEST SHORTS I’VE SEEN. I’m really glad I could finally see it again. You turn the forms really exceptionally well, have a good style, and that story is so strangely original. I also like the music and sound a ton. Really, great job Dave.

  • bucketmouse

    This is fantastic.

  • Emily

    Loved it, but it felt a little choppy- it could have used a faster frame rate and a little more in-betweening.

  • dave, now that you’ve found your voice i hope we all will get to see and hear many more of its’ strange, twisted, beautiful melodies.

    haha, amazing! you should post up the 3 previous versions of it- because those animatics were fantastic as well !

  • Shmorky

    good job, kid. Time well spent.

  • Big Smiles!! I really liked your character designs and color work. And the coffeepot’s way of walking too!

  • David, you’re cartoon is totally “Davidish”

  • Oh good Fran, because I was thinking of becoming a therapy llama.

  • David, You made a heck of a cartoon. God damn, I’m going to get sick drunk in your honor. All my Dilly vibes to you.

  • Michael Giltz


    Glad I finally got to see some of your (twisted) work. Deus Ex Manolos? Best singing roaches since Joe’s Apartment.


  • POW! That is some brilliant stuff! Visionary, in a freakish, disturbing way.

  • Guz

    David, amazing short! So well-animated! I love the camera angles and how it’s animated. You say a lot on those little subtle twisted animations like the one with her eyes in the beginning. Amazing, man. Congratulations!

  • I’m a big fan of Superjail! so I almost expected the same animation style. This was very different, but good. Did your style change over time or did the animators change?

  • Sarah

    Holy fakk, I really liked this David. I kind of inspired me too! Keep doing this kind of twisted animations, they are amazing!

    -Sarah, 13 years old

  • carl lamsbar

    this animation was so vulgar it made me cringe, in other words it was great, superb stuff my friend.