<em>Something Left, Something Taken</em> by Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata <em>Something Left, Something Taken</em> by Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata
ShortsStop Motion

Something Left, Something Taken by Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata

Something Left, Something Taken is a charming and funny tale about paranoia in the Bay Area. It’s made by the Brooklyn-based husband-and-wife team of Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, who are better known as Tiny Inventions. They worked on the film for nearly two-and-a-half years in between commercial jobs like this “Davy Crockett” music video for They Might Be Giants.

Max and Ru used nearly every trick in the bag to make this including stop-motion, pixilation, drawn animation on paper, After Effects, Flash and live-action puppets. The film mixes together these elements in a seamless manner to create a whimsical hand-crafted world featuring lots of felt, fabric, rope, and cardboard. My favorite touch is the crocheted eyelids of the characters.

A comprehensive “making of” blog post with videos and images is available on their website.

Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata

Sound Design/ Mix: Greg Sextro (East West Audio)
Voice recording: Erin Kilkenny
Erin Kilkenny
Andrew Landry
Andy Kennedy
Panic Bomber
Alex & Alison
Peter Squires

Ru Kuwahata as Ru
Max Porter as Max
Kyle McKeveny as Artie the driver
Mickey Ryan as Dr. Janno
Tatiana Gomberg as Leslie
Erin Kilkenny as Scientist
Mike DiBenedetto as Steward
Veronica Taylor as Extra
Marc Diraison as Extra

Friends who helped us:
Sean Mcbride for rigging characters
Will Krause for prop making
Jene Wallace for prop making
Mary Bakija for sewing
Susie Porter for knitting
Noella Borie for interning
Sara Maysles for voice recording

  • DeK

    Yes, I think we’d all being in this kind of situation… :D

    Loved it!

  • Andrew


  • This film won a very deserved 1st place in the independent film category at this years ASIFA-East festival at which it entertained the entire audience!

  • Very fresh. I liked it.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    G U N !

  • I like their cute depiction of decomposition.

  • These guys are the BEST!! Love ALL there stuff!!

  • Max and Ru rule!

  • Simon Ampel

    Awesome! I loved it.

  • Chris

    Astonishing and fantastic film, one of the best ever!!

    Everything in this film is wonderful, the history, the style, the animation, the music, etc, pure inspiration in every single aspect.

  • Yay for Max and Ru! Glad they put the whole thing up online.

    I loved that they used so many techniques. It would be interesting to see them do more hand drawn stuff (digital or paper).

  • this is so totally incredible! you guys are so awesome!!! congratulations on wrapping this up…and on not getting whacked!

  • Lars

    Max, you and Ru are awesome! Rad work, man.

  • Great film ! I love it !

  • max braslavsky

    Nothing short of great. It’s funny how you can tell by the first ten frames or so that something’s just going to be good all along. Same goes for crap, I might add.

  • David Levy

    I love that they both came out of the NY studio system and then did their own thing afterwards. These two are ones to watch. And, they give us lots of reasons to be hopeful about this current generation of animators.

  • ru

    THANK YOU! Max and I are happy to see nice comments! And thank you Amid for posting!

  • Wow, thanks for sharing that amazing short! I love how hand made and warm it feels. Digital folk art!

  • ekuska

    layers and layers of originality and creativity. so refreshing and well crafted. Very impressed!

  • Hal

    Looks great guys! Two years well spent! Especially love the yarn decomposition.

  • Chris S

    That was awesome!!

  • Wonderful short!

  • I absolutely love the use of Jello for the Ocean! :) brilliant. The hand puppet segment made my day also :)

  • Craig

    I was waiting for them to hand Leslie her fishing rod at the end and her say “I don’t have a fishing rod..” Dun dun dunnnnn!