I first saw this film back at SIGGRAPH 2003 so it’s not exactly new. But the film has stuck with me, and it holds up quite well. Now that it’s online, I have to point it out. TIM TOM is a graduate film by Romain Segaud and Christel Pougeoise, produced at the French animation school SupInfoCom.
There’s all sorts of nods to old school animation techniques in this film — from the opening titles (in the form of a thaumatrope) to the flipbook facial expressions to the characters interacting with strips of film. But the biggest nod to old school techniques is the quality of the character animation itself. Computer animated characters, especially those in student films, rarely move like this…with such distinctive and individual styles of movement, with such snappy timing, with such expressive overlapping action. But much to the credit of the two filmmakers, the characters in TIM TOM are alive in the way that the best animated characters should be.