Christmas Nerds Christmas Nerds

Christmas Nerds

Three nerds turn a nativity scene into a roleplaying battleground.

Matt Burnett and Ben Levin spent a year animating this entirely by hand, on paper with pencils, and fancied it up in Photoshop and After Effects. Here’s their studio website, where you can also find a Quicktime version.

  • red pill junkie


    I foresee that due to this heinous sacrilege these 2D-loving scoundrels shall forever suffer in the plane of Oblivion… er… I mean Hell, cleaning up Mo-Cap data for the never-completed Halo movie!


  • Jesse H.

    Good fun. I visited their site as a result of this post and actually like their other, earlier short even more.

  • Scott

    Cute variation of the fairy tale.

  • Charles

    hahaha, this is so badass.

  • Somebody actually out nerded anime. Well done fellas.

    Actually awesome on these guys for sticking with this so long.

  • I think doing this by hand was a good idea. There are tons of Flash animations out there with this sort of geeky content (cough, cough,, but this one is actually funny, and you can tell they cared about what they were doing, and how it looked.

    Red Dwarf box set… that’s definitely something I’ve geeked out over. Once a nerd, always a nerd, I guess.

  • i love this!

    great job guys!

  • Oh my goodness – this is incredible! You can definitely see the love put into this film. Even if the audience wasn’t familiar with the rich tradition of LARPing, the film can still be funny because it’s so over-the-top! But there’s a lot of nice references to animation and geek culture for those of us in the know – did anyone else notice that the “Next Episode” bit at the end was a rip on “Neon Genesis Evangelion?” Not to mention the hysterical ending credits…
    Well done, Matt and Ben! Can’t wait for your next film!

  • slowtiger

    I didn’t get most of the roleplay references, nor do I know the original characters – there is some original out there which was parodied, right? But it was nicely done, the hand-drawing was essential to the effect, the voices were great.

    And it won me already with that not-so-straight moving spotlight and its little “screech” sound.

  • Yes, there’s tonnes of great stuff here.
    Well done that player.

  • Paco

    BWAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAHAHA! Great stuff! Long live 2D!!!

  • cheerios

    hahhahaha. hilarious! i cant believe they did that by hand….insane!

  • Pretty awesome, I must say.

  • Paul N

    It took them a year to do this? It’s funny and all, but it’s every bit as limited as most Flash animation. Maybe they only worked on it for a half hour a day… :0)

  • hibbity

    why is it so insane if done by hand?

  • Louis P

    If they would lose about two minutes, general audiences would get it without knowledge of the ‘rich tradition of LARPing.’ It is way cool that it was drawn by hand. There is no digital substitute for living characters.

  • This looks perfectly at home in a VENTURE BROS. episode! And yes, I mean that it a good way! (Maybe Matt & Ben are fans?)

  • SEAN-O



  • Did these people see “Eltingville”?

  • Awesome stuff!! Really nicely animated and funny as sh*t to boot!!!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > Did these people see “Eltingville�?

    I thought so too, though I was going to say CN should have greenlit “Welcome to Eltingville” when they had the chance.

  • …this makes me want to hold my own nativity play of epic proportions!

  • lol…the guys at my Scifi club loved this…awesome find!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > alexander says:
    > Somebody actually out nerded anime. Well done fellas.

    Am I the only one who thought that tanuki character stuck out like a sore thumb? ^_^

  • Go Man

    Here in England where Red Dwarf was made, we don’t consider it sci-fi or geeky. Its still on TV almost everyday on UKgold. I can see how in your united states, it may seem quaint or eclectic, but it’s just a quite funny sitcom. This animation is alright, however its only partly hand drawn. It’s like the boring stuff I do, where every corner is cut so to create less drawn frames. Watch it again, looking out for motion graphics supplimenting real animation. I happen to like this style of work, but I wouldn’t tout it as labour intensive hand drawn work unless I was trying to piss people off.

  • Lucy

    Oh that was a great video. That was awesome. You should also come check out this GREAT Christmas video.