Les Ailes du Papillon

Welcome to a new feature that we’re introducing here in 2006: the Cartoon Brew Film of the Week. Every week Jerry and I will highlight an animated short, music video or commercial that we feel deserves to be seen by a wider audience. The Internet has truly revolutionized the world of animation, and whereas once upon a time, one had to travel to animation festivals to see such films, today everybody can experience the world’s greatest animation from the comfort of one’s own home or office. We want to make sure that the cream of the crop independent animated films are recognized and given the attention they deserve, so we’re going to make our best effort to offer one exemplary piece of animation here every week. And we promise, only the good stuff on Cartoon Brew. If you have your own film that you feel should be the Cartoon Brew Film of the Week, please drop us a line.

Our first film sets the bar for quality extremely high. It’s an exquisite 8-1/2 minute short from France called LES AILES DU PAPILLON (THE WINGS OF THE BUTTERFLY) by 24-year-old Benjamin Gibeaux. Over the last seven months, he single-handedly wrote, animated and directed the film, as well as composed its music, and he just finished it last week.

It’s a sweet and charming story on the surface, but the light tone masks some surprisingly deep political undertones. I personally read it as an allegorical tale of what happens when one country invades another for its own selfish reasons, but does so under the pretenses of helping that other country’s people. However you choose to read it though, there’s no mistaking that the artwork is superb. Color is used in an elegant and sensitive manner, the animation is spare but effective, and the loose calligraphic quality of the drawings remind me at turns of Ludwig Bemelmans, Matisse, and André François.

Benjamin Gibeaux is an artist to watch and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. You can see more of his work at
(via Llámame Lola)