Animation Procreation Contest Winner Announced

The Sloth Life, It Can Changes

A winner has been announced in the “Animation Procreation” contest sponsored by Daily Motion and our friends at Animation Magazine. It is called The Sloth Life, It Can Changes. Contest judge Loren Bouchard explains why he chose this short as the winner in this blog post.

As readers of this site may recall, I didn’t offer many kind words for the contest when I posted about it last month. It’s nice that they have a contest winner and I hope the “development deal” works out for the creator, but I still strongly believe that contests with gimmicky prizes like development deals and cash prizes are a cheap and insulting way to encourage new talent in this field.

If companies like DailyMotion and Animation Magazine were serious about helping young creators, they would offer legit production resources to artists, and create opportunities for artists to experiment and develop their artistic voices over a period of time. A fine example to be applauded is the National Film Board of Canada’s Hothouse which is structured in a way that genuinely encourages talent and allows artists the chance to learn about the art form in a professional studio setting.

UPDATE: Regarding the earlier accusation of the ‘plagiarism’ in this short, that is incorrect because the cartoon was produced by the same NYC commercial studio Panoptic that produced the MTV2 commercial. I apologize to the filmmakers for the unnecessary hassle, and I apologize to readers for not fact-checking properly (at least it’s not as bad as the gaffe I made a couple years ago). Below are frame grabs comparing the original Panoptic MTV2 commercial (left) and the Panoptic-produced contest winner (right) which reappropriates the character and animation from their commercial.

The Sloth Life, It Can Changes


  • http://educatedmetalhead.blogspot.com/ DanO

    i should win something for having sat through that.

  • http://www.dltad.blogspot.com A.M.Bush

    I thought that was a cute movie and all, but how do you make something like that into a series??? But again, I’m just a shmoe, so what do I know?

  • Skitch

    Wow…that was lame. Sorry, but bad pun TEXT next to non-communicative visuals is just dumb. How about using that time to just say something VISUAL? Something funny, perhaps. Or at least entertaining. GEEZ.

  • Ceaser

    That was a fantastic toon, really sad and really beautiful, plus I like the lolcats inspiration for the dialogue. Kick ass, and a deserved winner. A different, interesting cartoon.

  • big bad balloon

    It’s bad enough when mediocrity is rewarded but THIS? Coupled with catspeak(gimmick)??? Beyond amazing. Animation Magazine continues to be “the voice of the animation community”…WELL DONE!

  • Joe

    Honestly I chuckled a few times, but where was the animation? Then again where is the animation in today’s shows anyway?

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    Jeepers. I just finished trawling down all the hater comments on the previous associated posting.

    I’m fully with you Amid, on beating on the exploitative ‘competitions’ our industry keeps churning up, and more power to you to keep hilighting them. It’s one of the indistries biggest problems and worst practices, and I can’t understand why there was such a back lash from the Brew readership about it.

    I didn’t watch the clip because I didn’t care that much, but I have to ask – does no one else see the inherent flaw in running a SHORT FILM competition, the prize for which is (tenuously) DEVELOPMENT FUNDING?

    Surely the qualities that define any decent short film, are the qualities that make it work as a self contained entity – and that the opposite is true for any well developed series concept? This is just encouraging in creators, the corporate view that all commodities can and should be eligible for maximum commercial expansion…

  • slowtiger

    Not that bad, really. But compare the frame at about 3/4 of the movie where the sloth sits on the table with this image: http://feed.stashmedia.tv/feed/2006/11/14/sloths-panoptic-and-mtv2.html

    I think it’s OK to get inspired by other’s work, to expand an idea in a different direction. But one should avoid to copy that blatantly …

  • ian copeland

    Daniel Cardenas, the director of ‘The Sloth Life, It Changes’ works with Panoptic. His film was the source for the MTV spots, not the other way round. It’s not theft if the work is your own.

    http://www.panoptic.org/sloth/Sloth_origin.mov

    How did everyone miss this when panoptic is in the credits?

  • http://justforspite.blogspot.com Gene Hole

    ok, so how does that win an ANIMATION contest? there was barely any animation in it!

  • http://members.shaw.ca/petemslie/index.htm Pete Emslie

    Here’s an interesting comment from Loren Bouchard regarding the contest entries:

    “Besides the quantity, I’m impressed with the high level of originality. This is not a bunch of knock-offs – there are people taking real creative risks here.”

    Ironic, ain’t it? Keep on sounding off on stuff like this, Amid. I may not always agree with you, but I always appreciate your blunt honesty in these types of situations. As evidenced by the winning entry, I believe your assessment of this contest (and of Mr. Bouchard) was correct right from the beginning.

  • Jane

    No plagiarism here – Panoptic was responsible for production on both the contest entry and the MTV spots. The credits at the end of the contest-winning entry clearly state this.

  • Steph’

    um..wow. The original’s hand drawn. All he did was digitally scrunch it to get the captions to fit. Does this mean Panoptic gets his development deal? No? Oh well, congratulations to the runner-up.

  • http://www.funnypagesprod.com Tom Bancroft

    AMID, I think there is a problem here. Your UPDATE says that some of this animation/design was ripped off of an old MTV spot by a studio called PANOPTIC. I just watched the actual short that one (from the link in your post) and it said in the end credits: “Production by: PANOPTIC”>

    I think you need to do another update.

  • Gobo

    So someone watched that, chuckled a few times, and said, “LOLcats text and an almost complete lack of animated motion? Cartoon Network will love this! Make a series out of it!”

    OOPS! PLAIGARISM!

  • Paul N

    Apparently the “great caution” Amid employs in throwing around accusations of plagiarism doesn’t extend to actually reading credits at the end of a piece. If either he or slowtiger had done so, they would have seen that Panoptic has a “production” credit. I’m no lawyer, but I’m fairly certain reusing your own work doesn’t constitute plagiarism.

  • Gobo

    Actually, I take that back. Both the MTV2 ads and this Sloth short were produced by Panoptic, with the same animator and sound designer. So, no, not plaigarized. Sorry.

  • matt

    P.S.

    The sound for both the MTV spots and this short were done by the same guy too.

    You’re right though Tony, I dunno how this would translate to a series. But maybe the development deal is only tied to the director, not the concept. I also generally agree with your views on these ‘contests’ Amid.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    I’ll avoid comment on the piece itself, but what’s with the plagiarism accusations? Panoptic, the creator of the MTV2 spots from which the sloth is taken, is credited with “PRODUCTION” on the SLOTH LIFE cartoon. It’s by the same people, right?

  • Jim

    The contest winner was also produced by Panoptic, according to the end credits, so I guess plagiarism isn’t really accurate.

    As for the film itself, I am as big a fan of full, beautiful animation as anyone else, and I was annoyed by the limited movement at the beginning. In fact, I was skeptical as hell. But by the time the credits rolled, I was engrossed in the story and I cared about the character… and in that regard, the filmmakers succeeded.

    Is the cat-speak a little ridiculous? Yes. But I think it serves an important role here… if the sloth had spoken normally, the film would have come off as way more preachy. As it is, the dialogue adds humor and takes the edge off a story that could have easily been too heavy-handed (“Look at the poor sloths / boo animal testing / etc.”). I haven’t watched any of the other entries, so I can’t judge whether this film was a worthy winner, but I think it does more right than it does wrong. In the end, the film pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I appreciate that challenge.

  • Chuck R.

    I laughed once or twice, and frankly, I’m glad there’s limited animation and artistry here. Bouchard wanted concepts and he got a concept. It’s as if Panoptic’s saying, “if you want the full-gloss treatment, ante-up, and we’ll talk.” Whatever deal happens, it will probably go unnoticed by me. I don’t have much time for TV.

    ..And yes, of course, Amid’s right about contests.

  • Alusa

    Goodness. If that… thing was the winner, I’d hate to see what lost.

  • Corey

    So someone that already had a development deal with MTV2 won a contest for a development deal? Reminds me of those Publisher’s Clearing House commercials where they sneak up on surgeons and lawyers to suprise them with money.

  • http://cidcartoons.blogspot.com Rodrigo

    A production company made this? Man that sucks for all those truly independent animators. *cough* me *cough*

  • http://www.mpsindustries.com Matt Schuster

    LOLCat speak? Really? That’s all you’ve got?

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    “I can haz developmint deel?”

  • rachel

    Everyone’s saying this vid ripped off LOLCat speak, but I also think it’s a blatant (and horribly watered-down) rip-off of illustrator Graham Roumieu’s wonderful bigfoot books (which came out in ’03 and ’05)–in both character design and text.

    Go here to compare:

    http://www.amazon.com/Me-Own-Words-Autobiography-Bigfoot/dp/091639784X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200605085&sr=8-2

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0098908/ COugh

    I can see why Bouchard loved it – almost no animation, and you don’t need to pay voice actors!

  • Edward

    I don’t know much about making videos and such but i like the video i have been a great fan of sloths since second grade. I like the the theme kinda like please stop cutting down trees it in the long run kills off animals and other bountiful groups of animals. But I over all like the video job well done. Sincerely, The Eddy