“I, Pet Goat II” By Heliofant

I, Pet Goat II was directed by Louis Lefebvre at the Montreal area studio Heliofant. The sophisticated production design stirs mo-cap and keyframe animation into a mesmerizing Surrealist soup that is hard to stop looking at. Conversely, the film’s occult and spiritual symbolism–cataloged in excruciating detail on the company’s website–is almost embarrassing, like peering into the mind of a precocious high schooler who thinks he understands the world. If you can make it past that, there’s plenty to enjoy. Heliofant’s toolset consisted of Maya, Vray, FumeFX, and RealFlow.

(Thanks, Luke Buxton)


  • http://peopleatcomputers.blogspot.com/ mutchew

    It’s an impressive piece of work. I actually find the symbolism very enticing and would love to see more. Could you picture a 30 – 60 minute version of this?

    For some reason I see them taking the piece back in time.
    Either way, great animation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hank.missenheim.jr Hank Missenheim_Jr

      Wow, a 30+ minute version would have been awesome.

      • Paul M

        Even better would be if this work inspired a whole genre

    • Elle

      You sound as pretentious as he claims the Heliophant studio to be. You wanna sit around having opinions or do you want to actually understand something? Some of us want more than opinions. There ARE many amazing mysteries that when breached allow people the power to create their realities more effectively: ARTISTS. Oh well, go back to your regular scheduled ‘programming’.

  • http://artnote.blog.com Stephen

    Some beautiful imagery, but the symbolism is a bit much.

    • Jason

      Isn’t it funny how much better this thing would be if they just didn’t list that dumb page? Half the fun of this wacky crap is figuring it out.

      • Aaron G.

        I’ve been surfing site-to-site for an analysis for this video, but still haven’t found anything conclusive. The hidden messages buried in this video are like an onion. It’s layers on layers on layers of layers.

        Overall beautiful video (art/animation) and very good music and audio… but, still, that mystery of the motivation or plot behind this piece….

  • sasha

    i wouldn’t call it excruciating detail, the website only “explains” very few of the many images presented. this is great fun to watch tho, its superbly done.

  • Bud

    Fantastic. Pretty danged well done, even if it’s symbolism is heavy handed. And there is some (not much) nice character animation in there, too.

    • Elle

      Don’t study the sciences of ancient Egypt or study anything hidden or cryptic. The symbolism will be too heavy handed. Maybe that’s why secret societies are able to do what they do. People just want to be entertained or otherwise sit and munch on cheetos while playing X-box.

  • http://monstroanimation.blogspot.com/p/animation-article-database.html Jonah Sidhom

    That’s pretty awesome. I keep coming back to watch it just for the visuals. I’m not going to even touch the symbolism.

    Kind of reminds me of the bizarre Cat Soup movie in some parts.

  • http://www.greasypigstudios.com Arvin

    Wow, that’s some of the best and most eye-catching animation, lighting, rendering, and design I’ve seen in a really long time. I hate hyperbolizing and saying things look better than the major studios, but this type of sharpness and mix of fluidity, cartoony, and realistic movement is something I really have never seen anywhere.

    • http://www.greasypigstudios.com Arvin

      I will qualify that while I didn’t hate any of the “symbolism,” I also tuned it out (the images were pretty and mesmerizing enough that it wasn’t tough to do).

      • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

        Don’t worry, the symbolism was still powerful enough to enter your subconscious —that’s why they’re used over and over throughout history ;)

        • Elle

          Red Pill Junkie I concur. Why do the masses get labeled as ‘profane’ or as ‘cattle’? Is it any wonder??

  • Jay Sabicer

    I’m in agreement with the heavy-handedness. It tries desperately to speak volumes, where in reality it says nothing, including a lack of a solution, which makes it quite depressing.

    Only thing that left an impression with me is the artistry, in the modeling and animation, which is excellent.
    That, and thinking that Jesus must have a scorching case of athlete’s foot.

    • mike smith

      That wasn’t Jesus and It seems like you don’t really know what is going on in the film. Most of it was biblical.

      • http://krop.com/brentdonoho Brent Donoho

        Well… not quite biblical. It was actually very VERY Gnostic, which historically is considered the arch-heresy that opposed the early Church. They generally hated the old testament, most of the gospels, and saw Jesus more as a great illuminator of spiritual truth as opposed to an actual messiah. It’s interesting stuff if you read about it!

  • Owen Kent

    Haha, what a load of pretentious tripe

    It actually beats Pixar’s “Day and Night” for visual-interrupting overtones

    Shame, because it actually looks good

  • http://www.joelbrinkerhoff.blogspot.com/ joel brinkerhoff
    • JM WALTER

      The explanation makes sense, I don´t see why a filmaker can´t use animation to criticize the world from an artistic point of view tho.

      Cartoons are not only meant to entertain your kid while you buy him or her some pop corn .

    • http://www.facebook.com/hank.missenheim.jr Hank Missenheim_Jr
    • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

      I never thought I’d see the day when I would find an Above Top Secret link @ Cartoon Brew!

      It’s like my wife and my girlfriend accepting to organize a Menage-a-trois :P

  • AnthonyA

    A+ for animation, lighting, all those techniques of making it look good.

    F for having any real story, plot, continuity, or anything to entice me to watch it again or even recommend it to anyone. It’s much like just browsing through a list of tropes, in random order.

    • http://www.facebook.com/hank.missenheim.jr Hank Missenheim_Jr

      An F ?!! That’s crazy. This is the best thing since Zeitgeist – the Movie. What did you expect in seven minutes.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    That looked just about absolutely the best thing I’ve seen in ages. Great touches in every respect.

    I disagree with comments such as ‘precocious high schooler …. thinks he knows the world’ ‘It tries desperately to speak volumes, where in reality it says nothing, including a lack of a solution’ … these are most presumptuous accusations inferring that someone DOES understand the world and that there ARE solutions (to what?). Such heavy handed statements sound in themselves, respectively, precocious and insoluble. In terms of meaning this cartoon is excellent in providing none for a subject that has none.

    Goat in a box
    religious hoo hah
    life death
    a turnip is still a turnip at the end of the horizon,
    have a lollipop and watch the pretty pictures

  • http://altanimation.podomatic.com AltAnimationPodcast

    Hmm, some of the animation looked a little mo-capped to me. Overall I enjoyed it. Not sure how I feel about a Montreal studio making such deliberate references toward America, no matter how right they are. Its the “only I can make fun of my little brother, and you cant” mentality haha.

    • http://www.zavorio.com Zavorio

      From the description in Vimeo: “Animation is about half keyframe animation and half motion capture.”

      I think the use of political US figures is just a point of reference that (sadly) the whole world can identify. Its not Bush and Obama, its the left and right which are depicted in the animation. And both are the same (or so the video proposes).

  • JM WALTER

    I have not seen anything like this before.

    I am truly amazed.

    I wonder, however what this company ¨does for a living¨, It´d be ironic and sad if at some point they have to engage on a CocaCola commercial to pay the bills .

    • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

      From the website:

      “Our first short film was totally self-financed with no outside help, either governmental or corporate. As you may or may not know, computer animation is a rather expensive proposition. If you wish to encourage us in our labor of love, any help will be greatly appreciated. You can do so by direct donation though the following link.”

      I gladly contributed with a bit of dough ;)

  • Conor

    Well made, for sure, but my eyes are not large enough to execute the eye roll needed to express how I felt upon seeing the pan across marionette strings from the hand with the “S” ring to George W. Bush.

    • Aaron G.

      Don’t worry… seeing George turn into Obama wan’t an easy thing for me to stomach….

  • Polecat

    “…If you can make it past the symbolism, there’s plenty to enjoy.”

    I couldn’t.

  • Sarah

    Amid – thanks a lot, this is the most substancial piece of film making I have seen coming out of any studio in years. Fantastic and mesmerizing, love the CIA logo on Bin Ladens jacket! Great symbolism all around even if a bit too heavy. Too bad commercial animation these days are so poor (dead) when it comes to symbolism, metasymbolism, narration and subject matter plus everything else this piece captures to perfection.
    Congratulations to these wicked filmakers!
    Great job!

  • luca

    I love it. symbolism is fine. I would never call it embarrassing. it’s genre film, sometimes it’s great to go all the way you know? camera flow is great, hard not get sucked into it. I don’t understand people complaining about the story, it plays mostly like a mood piece, it’s purposely ambiguous but not inconclusive.

    the ‘precocious high schooler” accusations seem uncalled for. I don’t agree 100% with the film but why can’t we make strong political statements without hiding behind irony or a cynical “cooler than thou” attitude.

    great work!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if everyone are being sarcastic right about now but after truly understanding the occult symbolism in this clip I and a couple other people are truly disgusted by what this video is portraying. I understand if you are an Illuminati or if you don’t worship God and you want to let people know that you don’t like or respect it but to slander Jesus, Lady Liberty etc… Is unacceptable. Oh But by far “Great Job” with you’re brainwashing techniques because everyone here seems to have enjoy the video.

    Have A Bless Day

    • Joe

      Just because someone enjoyed the video, you assume they’ve been “brainwashed”? I couldn’t care less about the symbolism in this video and what it’s trying to say. I personally am a Christian, but I realize people slandering Jesus is nothing new. It doesn’t shock me or bother me anymore, because my beliefs don’t hinge on everyone accepting them, too. There are always going to be people out there that attack your beliefs. That being said, I loved the short for its visuals, and they really DID do a great job on it.

      • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

        At what point was this animation disrespectful to the figure of Christ? It only pointed to the obvious symbolical similarities between Christ & the Egyptian deities of Osiris & Horus.

        The short hinted at a Gnostic cosmovision of the world, and inviting the viewer to ‘ignite the Christ within’ and recognize our own divinity.

        Whoa… sorry. For a moment I thought I was back with my buddies of The Daily Grail. I will not let myself get carried away ;)

      • http://krop.com/brentdonoho Brent Donoho

        I think the reason he found it disrespectful of Christ was for that very reason Red Pill Junkie. The Gnostics syncretized the Christ’s message with Greek Philosophy (some of them even denied he had a physical body and only had the appearance of one). The syncretism ended up mangling Christ’s identity and teaching worse than any of his outspoken critics or enemies. There was a reason the Church Fathers weren’t buddies with them.

      • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

        There were many Gnostic tenets among the many Gnostic schools, the main one is that the world was not created by the true God, but by a Demiurge. Hence, the Gnostics rejected the material world and only thought that a rational understanding —a gnosis— of Christ’s message would lead them to salvation.

        Whether these ideas ended up mangling Christ’s identity is open to debate. One could also argue the reason the first leaders of the nascent church pursued the Gnostics was because they didn’t want anyone contesting their monopoly of the ‘truth’ ;)

        In the end, I find particularly uplifting the idea that we don’t need churches or figures of authority (glorified gatekeepers) to have a direct experience with the Divine. Like the words from the gospel of Thomas:

        “The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you,
        Not in a mansion of wood and stone.
        Split a piece of wood and God is there,
        Lift a stone and you will find God.”

    • luca

      saying that a short animated film is unacceptable is pretty scary. if you value “lady liberty” so much why don’t you value freedom of speech?

    • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

      Aaaand THIS is why you can only resort to abstract imagery to have a comment on 9/11 and the God-awful mess we’re finding ourselves in.

      As for myself, I was emotionally overwhelmed. Hands down this is the best animation I’ve seen all year.

      And I also comment the creators for doing their job researching all the Symbolism —yes, there are those of us who dig this shit ;)— and having the audacity to produce an animation masterpiece that challenges the viewer.

    • mike smith

      That Wasn’t jesus!!!

      It was the anti crist

      you guys need to go back and read your bible, a lot of it was biblical

      • Anti Anti Christ

        What makes you think it was the anti-christ? You must realize that there is more to the bible than what’s been left in the book. So much of it has has been filtered out that at this point it’s safer to just say we don’t know enough to say that that was him, or is this all self-fulfilling prophecy? Practically everything about the film is so abstract that it’s pretty pointless to speculate other than to say it leaves us with a feeling of hope and anticipation for the awakening of the masses into a spiritual ascension. Even if the imagery was that of a ‘biblical’ figure. Seriously, for a ‘cartoon’ site there sure is a lack of right-brain thinking in these comments. Oh, and the original poster and his comments are just oozing ignorance and stupidity.

      • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

        It’s a trap!

      • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

        It was the Uncle Christ

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    That was impressive. Lots of solid technical work. It did get boring a few minutes in. I don’t give a durn about the symbolism. Music was pleasantly Pink Floydy in places.

  • Manu R

    Very impressed by both technical and artistic skills on display. But these guys really need to get out a bit more and spend less time on conspiracy websites.

  • MartG

    It is not supposed to be the Anti-Christ, It’s supposed to be the Christ consciousness unless the lead animator/writer was lying.
    He was interviewed by AJ on infowars a few nights ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t28m0Ith6fg

    I agree very much with Red Pill Junkie, it’s the best piece of symbolic art released in a long time.

    Those having a go at the artist should ask themselves what they have done to wake up humanity.

  • MartG

    It is not supposed to be the Anti-Christ, It’s supposed to be the Christ consciousness, unless the lead animator/writer was lying.
    He was interviewed by AJ on infowars a few nights ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t28m0Ith6fg

    I agree very much with Red Pill Junkie, it’s the best piece of symbolic art released in a long time.

    Those having a go at the artist should ask themselves what they have done to wake up humanity.

  • Yvette Dobosz

    I don’t think this video is meant to hurt anyone. I think it’s a call to look past all our differences, religions, governments, and everything us that holds us back as a human race. We don’t need those things to love each other as people.

  • JPM312

    “…is almost embarrassing, like peering into the mind of a precocious high schooler who thinks he understands the world. If you can make it past that, there’s plenty to enjoy. ”

    What an asinine comment. I bet your world ethos and perspective is any more elucidating than theirs… right? That was a really bad choice of words and already leads a viewer to assume a certain point of view.