‘The Last Belle’ by Neil Boyle (Updated)

The Last Belle is an animated short featuring two characters journeying towards a blind date: Wally, who suffers a nightmarish drunken trip through London as he races against the clock to the rendezvous; and Rosie, who waits in a bar dreaming of how wonderful her date is going to be….if he ever shows up.​

Directed by Neil Boyle, the film was hand-drawn on paper, hand-painted onto cels, then shot directly onto 35mm film with a rostrum camera. Certainly among the last animated films that will be made in this manner. Learn more about the film on its official blog. Or read Cartoon Brew’s earlier post about The Last Belle.

UPDATE: Neil Boyle was also one of the two lead animators on Sylvain Chomet’s couch gag for The Simpsons. Read more about his involvement here.


  • eman

    Incredible.
    I was just thinking about this.

  • Beamish Kinowerks

    Celluloid forever! You just can’t get quality like this via scanning artwork into a computer. Looks like it was worth the wait.

  • Taco

    Just the best! Thank you Neil Boyle! And thank you to Richard Williams for employing & training Neil at your studio all those years ago. What a great film collaboration he was able to achieve because of it. And What a great film.

  • martin

    wow! that was a real treat to watch. looks painstaking with the effort put into this (given the manner it was made). i can really feel the human touch on the drawings and backgrounds. good “old fashioned” TLC.

  • http://mattdeanart.com Matt Dean

    Oh yeah, I remember reading about this way back when. I didn’t realize the short itself was nearly three years old now.

    This was far more charming than I expected to be. It may not seem like much, but the traditional cel process really made it more pleasant to watch. I never knew the director was trained by Richard Williams, it’s no wonder the animation is so lavish. (Not to mention that the short reeks of his style just reeks to begin with.) An absolutely fantastic watch.

  • Fraser MacLean

    Not to mention the astonishing and inspired layout work by the legendary Roy Naisbitt in the London Underground sequence…..!!

  • Kdoggy

    So funny and absolutely beautifully made! Fantastic stuff! I love this so much!

  • Dana B

    Simply amazing, and totally worth a three year wait! It’s films like this that prove 2D animation has an artistic charm that CG will never possess. Character animation and subway sequence was breathtakingly awesome and gave me a little nostalgic shock! I’ll definitely be watching this a few more times today :)

    • jmahon

      It was a fun short with fabulous animation, but apples and oranges. Don’t pit siblings against each other, they’re both great because they’re both different even if they inspire each other.

  • S

    This was fantastic!

  • Lluis

    That was great!! Loved it!

  • Andrew Chesworth

    This is a brilliant accomplishment. A joy to watch. Great nuances in the woman’s acting. The analog quality of the cels and film stock enhances the experience for me. Fantastic work, Neil. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tomm

    Wow

  • http://the-animatorium.blogspot.com/ Natalie Belton

    More people need to talk about this film!

  • Jack Rabbit

    Great job in doing this! A hallmark of an example for future animation film-makers.

  • CG Animator

    Been waiting a long time for this short. Totally exceeded my expectations. Amazing!!

  • Taco

    @CG Animator, Hey you!
    I wrote the following back in the comments section on this article: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/cgi/pixar-makes-painterly-cg-new-research-could-change-the-look-of-their-films-95205.html …kinda in reply to one of your comments:
    ———————————————————————————-
    I think this whole 3D Vs 2D “Civil War” is just a bunch of baloney! Some people just don’t like using 3D programs like Maya & the spline-spaghetti-box or CGI-Rigs (cut-out or 3D) to animate their characters, and much prefer the process of drawing & designing. But most just wanna animate and… lets face it, there are currently far more job opportunities to be an “Animator” in films, TV or Games if you’re a wiz at Maya & or Flash/ToonBoom. Many CG guys say “I just hate the attitude a lot of people have against CG. Like CG is somehow not “real” animation because we animate with a mouse or a tablet instead of a pencil.” So let me say this, if any “traditional” artist ever says anything like that to you, then you have my full support go break their nose & all their pencils. Likewise, if any 3D animator tells me that “2D is dead & I should just crawl into a hole & cry.”, I hope that I have YOUR full & total support to go break that person’s nose with their keyboard! They say all arguments are over a relatively marginal differing in Semantics and the fact that we can’t entertain every persons perspective all at once.
    —————————————————————
    Just wanted to make sure you read it too and that it wasn’t lost in the deluge of comments back there. Cheers!

  • Roberto Gonzalez

    This is fantastic. Not sure if the wacky tone of the male part combines perfectly with the subtler tone of the female part and I kinda feel bad for the alcoholic guy at the end (kinda , cause he’se clearly not boyfriend material) but the short shows how cartoony animation can be usted both for emotional and subtle scenes and hilarious exaggerated stuff so in that way it serves its pulpose. And of course its beautiful to watch. I’d like to see adult animated sitcoms with at least a little bit of the inspiration we see here in the visuals and gags. Even feature length movies.

  • Oscar Grillo

    I truly LOVE this film!!!!!