Seventeen by Hisko Hulsing

Seventeen by Hisko Hulsing

It’s surprising that I’ve never written about Hisko Hulsing’s film Seventeen considering how much I enjoyed it when I saw it at Annecy in 2004. I hadn’t seen it since then, and it’s never been posted on-line, but somebody recently uploaded a copy onto YouTube allowing me to rediscover this hand-drawn gem. I’m delighted to report that the film holds up after all these years, and it’s even better than I’d remembered.

Seventeen is a powerful and complete package, and achieves a cinematic quality as few animated films do, which can be attributed to Hisko’s expert storytelling through camera, cutting, color, sound and music. The visual imagery, which draws on magical realism, is fantastically creepy as the title character–a drunken and horny seventeen-year-old construction worker–staggers around a small European village that shifts between hellish nightmare and carnal fantasy. The animation is inventive and fun, and suits the style of the film perfectly.

Hisko hasn’t made a short since Seventeen which is understandable when you realize that he not only directed and wrote Seventeen, but also painted the backgrounds, composed the music, and animated most of the film. He’s currently working on his next film Junkyard. There’s a short clip posted on Vimeo that gives a taste of how he’s pushing his work to an entirely new level. His website is HiskoHulsing.com.

Seventeen is eleven-and-a-half minutes and can be viewed in two parts below. It might be considered NSFW.


  • http://www.karrotanimation.com Jamie Badminton

    One of my favourites from that year’s Annecy too, and a pleasure to see it again – I very much agree with the ‘complete package’ statement; it’s a tough trick to pull off in a short, and the vivid memories I’ve kept of this film after 6 more Annecys are more than justified. Definitely the sort of boldness in both story and art that keeps me festival-going!

    Looking forward to Hisko’s next!

  • http://www.themissingkey.com jonathan nix

    I saw this short at Annecy in 2004, and was completely blown away by it. I remember being astounded at the time it
    didn’t pick up one of the main awards…
    Can’t wait to see his next one…

  • Tekena

    Well it’s not my taste, but it didn’t feel like a fake creep out. I’m creeped out and it doesn’t feel like emo kids were trying to do it.

  • http://www.electricminstrel.comn Brett McCoy

    I’ve seen bits from his new film on the TV Paint site — looks really good!

  • http://www.tjrmusic.com TJR

    Wow! Disturbing, but fantastic!