“The Good Little Bunny with the Big Bad Teeth” by Jessica Borutski

As promised, the latest short from Jessica Borutski. She has been working on it for about 4 years on the side and it’s been a labor of love. A sweet little film, perfect for a Christmas Day treat! And don’t forget to visit Jessie’s new website: Foolish Kingdom!

(Thanks Jessica Borutski and Chris Dainty)


  • MichaelHughes

    Really beautiful cartoon. I hated the soundtrack, and there’s no sound design so feel free to mute it if you don’t like that sound.

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    This was super cute, like a new sardonic twist on “Little Tinker”. Not too crazy about the soundtrack, but it’s ok.

    I wish the animation in The Looney Tunes Show would look as cool as this, but in the little clip we saw in the trailers it dind’t look so great. Jessica is an awesome designer anyway.

  • MichaelDair

    So the moral of the story is: “In order to have friends, you must be perfect.”

    And, never trust two Panda Bears that hang out in the bushes, because who knows what they’re up to???

    • Jorge Garrido

      I didn’t realize every cartoon needed a moral.

      • Jorge Garrido

        Also, if the film has a moral, it’s obviously meant to be a cynical one. If the film had looked ugly, people would accept a cynical film. But to me the flavor of the film comes from the collision of the cute visuals and the the little tinge of sickness that creeps into the film. The bunny murders her best friend in the short. So the cynicism is obviously written into the film, I don’t think you’ve stumbled on to anything hypocritical here, like one would do with a real Disney Silly Symphony like “The Ugly Duckling.” Jess probably said “I’ll amp up the cuteness in my lampoon of 20s Disney, but I’ll also amp up the sickness.” Jess knew exactly what she was doing.

    • http://deaniac.deviantart.com Deaniac

      Well, it’s probably called “Silly Satires” for a reason…

    • Inkan1969

      Bad teeth can lead to serious health problems. The bunny really needed the dental work. I think dentists can use this short as an education film.

  • http://joelbrinkerhoff.blogspot.com/ Joel Brinkerhoff

    I loved it and am curious what platform she used? There’s great drawn animation and use of symbols too so I’m thinking something like Flash or more like Toon Boom. Either way this is a delightful short well executed and some of the best looking digital animations I’ve seen. Thanks for a great Christmas treat!

  • Reem

    Wow, That was really bad, I’m sorry Jessica but the story didn’t make sense to me at all the character animation is like a bad copy of Nick Ross fluid style… and the music!! I mean I had to hit mute in order for me to finish watching I’m sorry I can’t believe cartoonbrew would post something like that, this is really bad animation

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Hey Reem.
      Can you give us 9 reasons it was really bad animation? (aside from it supposedly looking like a bad copy of someone called Nick Ross).
      Or did you mean it was a bad film?
      Or was it a bad film with bad animation?
      Perhaps you could expand on your pointless comment so we can have some insight into your thinking.

      • Stephen Levinson

        Elliot, Reem’s response is at the very bottom.

      • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

        I spotted that, thanks matey and replied : )

    • Stephen Levinson

      I’m gonna have to agree with Reem but not so impolitely.

      The story sort of bored me to begin with. It was moving very slow and the book was shoved into our faces as we read how to make new friends and it was shown for way too long. In order for the audience to understand what was going on, we had to read those pages. It should have been shown with actions. Otherwise the story is just of a weird bunny with a crooked tooth smiling at people. For example, the bunny could have been hanging out with people who laughed at her and she could of been sad. So she goes to another group, they also reject her. Then she decides to read (only showing the Rabbit reading a book of how to make friends) and then goes off and smiles to everyone.

      The music was unbearable and overly done, it really didn’t fit the style of art. The look was also a typical disney-esque style that is definitely improved on compared to the old Disney stuff, but I would prefer a more original character design/background design. Mike Scott is a perfect example of original art/design.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjwoit91SxU

      The animation was alright, although the tweens are extremely obvious. Which is a pet-peeve of mine. John K came to mind with the style and I’m really tired of his style.

      That being said I also don’t like that the other animals only liked the rabbit when she was “perfect.” This short is the same “Sad character becomes happy” plot that’s very common.

      Lastly, maybe instead of focusing on the art/design/animation and even story, try focusing on character development. Characters should be very dimensional. This character just follows a story of how to make friends if you’re not perfect. The character should lead the story. I don’t understand why she keeps getting rejected and is still happy. When the fox runs away she just smiles after he leaves.

      Say the character is a dentist but can’t fix her tooth for some reason. And she goes on a quest to find a dentist better than her. Or something, I don’t know. She doesn’t seem like a memorable character. Just some Rabbit in the forest with a crooked tooth.

      • http://garrisonsjunk.blogspot.com Chris Garrison

        > When the fox runs away she just smiles after he leaves.

        Clearly, the bunny smiles at this point because she’s oblivious, shrugging as if to say, “What’s HIS problem?” After that, with each rejection, it becomes more and more clear to her what’s going on, until she’s faced with the nightmare of realization.

        I think it’s funny how the the little ass not only kicked her teeth straight, but also kicked the yellow off them.

        There are so many criticisms here, I just want to say — Please remember, folks, making animation is REALLY hard! It takes a ton of time and effort and skill and practice, so don’t just trash it like she tossed it off in a lazy afternoon or something. This is a very ambitious project for an independent animator, and it looks totally slick and professional. So let’s at least be polite!

        Personally, I quite enjoyed the music. But then, I quite enjoy quirky, comedy-electronica. The lesson I take away from these comments is that … not everyone’s into that. And some people CAN’T STAND it.

        Regarding the shallow moral, I felt that, it some way, it’s needed. I grew up on shows that drilled into me, over and over, “Be yourself, and people will like you,” “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” etc, etc. Those things are very nice to hear as children, but they’re also a terrible lie which can negatively impact people’s lives in a pretty strong way. We’ve learned from tons of make-over shows that making small improvements in your appearance can make a huge difference in how people treat you and how you feel about yourself. I really wish I could go back to the 70′s and adjust the moral of all those shows to something like, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts … but if you want people to like you, your looks are actually rather important.”

      • Stephen Levinson

        Chris,

        I’ve been animating for over 5 years and have made an independent short and boarded several animatics so I absolutely understand the work that goes into making this. But just because alot of hard work goes into something doesn’t mean it’s any good. She could have spent 300 years on this film and put her whole life’s work into making it, but that is all irrelevant in the final product.

        I see your point about people liking you for who you are, but that doesn’t mean this is the only way to show the point that people only care about looks. This film took it to an extreme that just made it shallow. She could have been rejected by all these people and then found a town of not-perfect animals and everyone there accepts her. So that still has the element that people judge you on your looks, but also no go soo far as to having the character change herself to please others.

        The music is an infinite loop that doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t really follow the story. When it builds up the dramatic parts I’ve heard the same sounds so the music didn’t affect my mood. On-top of the fact that I don’t really like this character to begin with and couldn’t connect with her, despite the fact that I’ve felt this way before (being judged on looks) I simply didn’t care that the character has this issue, I felt nothing for her. The character came off needy and socially awkward.

        Plus she already knew she had an issue since she was reading a book about how to make new friends. But then it goes from her being bored of her friends to no one liking the way she looks. The story is up and down and not character driven. This is a forgettable character. Even the design isn’t unique. It’s very generic.

        Also, Jessica is fairly attractive so I don’t understand why she made a film about being unattractive. That aside, I don’t feel the connection through her film of her struggles about being rejected based on looks.

      • Merri

        [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, "If you are recommending or discussing something, disclose any relationship you may have to the artist, film project or company. This includes friends, family, co-workers, employers, etc."]

  • Sat

    Music by “Lights” … ? I recognized the track “Bibi Plone” by Plone in the scene with the Pandas. What’s going on here?
    Anyway, superb animation, superb drawings. Really. But I want to know what’s going on with the soundtrack?

    • Sat

      Damn am I stupid, I looked a little further and the pandas are from a short with this track playing. Still no credits though : P

  • ChillRobSki

    Very cute, well designed and animated. All the best for the holidays and new year!

  • Deaniac

    That was really cute…even if the soundtrack was a bit wonky. It didn’t draw away from the experience though. Wonderful use of Flash all around.. Kudos to Borutski for making such a great film! I hope are able to appreciate it.

    Fun fact: The two pandas from Borutski’s previous film “I Like Pandas” make a cameo!

    • Deaniac

      * I hope others are able to appreciate it.

  • HJ

    That was really pretty, loved the colors and characters!
    But…the story…so you have to be beautiful in order to be loved, and then kill off the only friend you had that liked you regardless of your flaws?? (I get he was blind and all but aah..)I don’t mean to be a downer though! I enjoyed it despite all that.

  • http://www.classicparamountcartoons.blogspot.com ParamountCartoons

    I thought this would be good for a classic Casper cartoon storyline, but the way it’s resolved makes it good for that “cliche Disney title structure” (the most cliche, however, would go to Warner Bros. out of all the indepedent animated shorts)…..

    If it was changed so he or she would always had bad teeth and the donkey made friends, then maybe you would consider more of a Famous Studios-style structure like this guy did:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI6sLBduoeg

  • Smudge

    I enjoyed it. Kind of a darkly cynical quality to it–like what was in “I Like Pandas”. Decent character design and animation. Loved the panda cameo. Soundtrack was interesting. It had a similar light and fluffy feel to Lights’ first album, but got a touch repetitive towards the end before picking right back up during the credits. Thought the best part was the nightmare sequence which had a very nice “Dumbo ‘elephants on parade’” sensibility to it.

    • Iritscen

      Yes, I feel like the animator was being a bit more subversive than some people realize, but I’m still not sure I understand exactly what she was going for. A commentary from the creator would be welcome. It was fun to watch, though, regardless of whether I understand it.

      • Smudge

        I dunno. Maybe Jessica had braces when she was a kid and her film was just an allegory about how people treated her before and afterwards?

  • http://1me0.deviantart.com/ Joel

    I am in LOVE with this cartoon.

  • Katella Gate

    Poor Bunny. She obviously lives in California.

  • The Gee

    Well, I like it. The music doesn’t really fit like a glove; it too loose, but the animation tells the tale despite that. It would have been cool and perhaps could help it pop in the right places if some Foley effects were in it. I understand the why nots that could be given for that being absent so it is not that big of a deal.

    I wish I could break it down like a cardboard box, which it seems like previous commenters did. The thing is that I like the designs, the animation works well. The timing is pretty good considering how it played on my compoooter.

    The story and the moral. Well, something from a productions studio called “Silly Satires” doesn’t need predictable endings and they don’t need to be the desired endings given how the audience wants it to go.

    The main character was trying to win friends and did win friends in the end. Almost every character was superficial. The rabbit most of all, its only true friend was the least superficial and probably the best friend that rabbit would ever have. It was weird how blind the rabbit is to itself, its best friend and how others treated it.

    The epiphany moment/ nightmare scene was well-done. It was benefits as being a nice contrast to the rest of the cartoon’s look. (And, obviously, there was nod to “Dumbo” there, too.)

    The music: it added this odd “Teletubbies”-like vibe to the sort. It is tough to explain so I won’t try to. It makes the events and antics seem even more out of place or out of whack…

  • Steve

    Great style to sell stickers and T-shirts. But Jessica doesn’t know a thing about story-telling.

    • http://www.watchmike.ca Mike

      Hey, if it helps her make money, all the power to her!

  • Steve Gattuso

    A beautiful little short, but that poor star-nosed mole.

  • http://arschblog.blogspot.com Steffi Alien

    Love this cartoon!:) And I’m glad that I finally could see it! Thanks!!!
    It is fun to look at the characters, the style is very inspiring!=) Also great Linework and great colors!
    The music is nice, it is different than that what you usually have in cartoons like that.:)

    Great job!!!<3

  • Kevin H.

    Pretty cool, would’ve liked a full sound design pass though. Missed some opportunities there.

  • That Chick

    I like the animation alot, but I didn’t understand the story: Was it suppose to have a moral or not?

  • http://madaboutcartoons.blogspot.com/ William

    I broke it down, but my letter never appeared.

  • The Gee

    A couple of things:

    1) One of the cool things about Now is if she wanted to add SFX to it, she still can. I know the film is already in “release” but it could be modified. That, of course, is if she feels it is needed. When the kick happens, that could really be delivered better with SFX.
    2) About the moral/story…I don’t mean to make it seem like I’m lobbying for SFX but I think a version of this with that is potentially more forgiving to an audience. The same could be said if you had a really good cartoon soundtrack throughout. It would be like adding the correct punctuation to a really long run-on sentence, turning it into a neat, concise paragraph that captivates an audience. (And, potentially doesn’t leave them with questions)

    I might be wrong but on a base level the rabbit wants to be accepted. It figures out a way to make more friends yet that doesn’t work for it. It’s one true friend has a solution–an absurd one–that solves the problem the rabbit is having. And, yet, the rabbit’s main problem, narcissism and some perverse want for acceptance, isn’t solved. The irony is the character is blind to that being a problem. So, the mole isn’t as blind as the rabbit is throughout the cartoon.

    To me, the solution and the result says a lot about our society in that solution is just common place nowadays. These solutions are now quickie, easily accessible procedures. It is easier to be vain these days (even if you ain’t that ugly to begin with).

    On a very basic level, it was just a well designed and animated humorous cartoon, with sight gags. So, even if that analysis I wrote is off-the-mark, the basic aspect of the cartoon is sound and it holds up.

    (Disclosure: I am not even close to being as young as some who’ve commented and expressed displeasure with the cartoon not being made for them (and by extension: for everyone))

  • http://madaboutcartoons.blogspot.com/ William Wray

    One more time:
    I missed character development, story structure, didn’t like the music, it desperately needed voice actors. Art was pretty good overall but not funny, just cute, but art direction is not enough to make a entertaining cartoon– Good artists have to learn this the hard way and some never do. You must work with writers, voice talent and a good composer.

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      A perfect review.
      There’s a world of difference between being an animator and being a film maker…

      • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

        Give me something from an artist over a committee any day of the week…

    • Stephen Levinson

      Thank you! You have to collaborate with others and not limit yourself to your own ability.

      • http://madaboutcartoons.blogspot.com/ William Wray

        I’m a pretty funny writer and artist — but still, collaborators ask me why something works or doesn’t. Everyone can get to close to their own material and often can’t see its not working for the viewer.

      • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

        but working with others doesn’t always make it better or more coherent…its takes 1 vision….

    • Jorge Garrido

      Two things I disagree with Bill on.

      1. You “Didn’t like the music,” so the film needed a “good composer”? As opposed to getting a terrible composer? Who’s to say even if she’d gotten a composer you wouldn’t have disliked the music anyway? Obviously you don’t share the same taste in music as Jess, a composer working with Jess wouldn’t have made any difference if she listens to that track and thinks “fuck yea!” and you go “ughh…” and roll your eyes. Obviously Jess listened to that song and heard feelings, moods, textures and built a simple story out of it.

      2. “Desperately needed voice actors?” That would have made the film very standard, in that it would have been told in dialogue, not images. As it it, the film is a perfect silent film. The music itself doesn’t advance the story, it only sets the mood of the emotions and sets a beat to the dance-like movement of the characters. She was trying to tell the story in pictures, a pure form of “silent” movie-making that I think most people on this site would agree we need more of.

      As for the writing, I agree the film didn’t have good structure or development, so I’ll concede that point, but I don’t think the film needed it. To me the point of doing a short film is that it doesn’t have the weight of a feature. In a short film, you don’t need to be or do everything other films do at once, you can decide to do only one thing. It’s one-dimensional, but that’s ok because this is a very cute film, and that’s all it really set out to do and be.

      • http://www.daintyproductions.com DAINTY

        I totally agree with you Jorge, all the comments about people not liking the music are people that don’t like that type of music. Unless Bill is an avid Electro-Pop type of music listener, obviously he wouldn’t like the music. I think if you are over 30 years old or dislike that type of music you most likely hate all electro-pop music you hear and you just don’t get it.

        Personally I really dig the music. The musician Lights is also really famous and is on the radio all the time, but you wouldn’t know that if you didn’t like that type of music.

      • Jorge Garrido

        And the thing is, the music totally fits the onscreen actions, both in timing and in emotional tone.

        The break at 2:30 where the music changes and the lights go out, and the bunny starts to hallucinate, is PERFECT, and that’s when the music begins to get dramatic and DESPERATE, just like the bunny…

        UNTIL the switch at 2:20 when the despair subsides and the music gets “chirpy” again, which is timed PERFECTLY to the mole’s walk cycle and his PERFECT little hop at 3:22.

      • http://www.cartoonsolutions.com Ryan Simmons

        Dainty: I absolutely love techno-pop-electro music and have a vast library of it, but it just did not mesh well at all with this animation. In fact, I felt that it detracted from it greatly. Yes, the story was weak, the animation and backgrounds were beautiful, but the music hurt it overall.

  • victoria

    while I didn’t like the story or the moral, it was sadly true, bad teeth are horrible and offensive.

  • E. L. Kelly II

    Weeeeelll…
    that music was….memorably out of place.
    I read an anti-moral into the whole cartoon…like Katella Gate above sniped, these characters “must live in California,” and I’d venture to guess they’re in a stereotypical West L. A., specifically. They are indeed terrible, superficial beasts, and the tragedy is that the earnest, good-hearted mole loses his life helping his only friend set the rabbit’s single error straight.
    Maybe the music is an intentional part of the torture; it screams, “This is an AstroTurf meadow!”

    I can see where you whom hated this are coming from, as a lot of the story elements were slapdash, but I cut J. Borutski some slack for the same stuff. She’s young, she’s worked hard, the mistakes she’s made here are hers to ponder and grow past.

  • Lily

    Wow considering she is making this for free for you to watch it online, and on CHRISTMAS, cut her some slack about the music and the story!

    The story isn’t perfect, sure… But I like how she chose the music direction to go with her animation, it creates a certain kind of style that worked well for me. Not the typical same ol’ music you hear in every other films today.

    • Stephen Levinson

      Lily,

      The reason any animator makes their films for free is exposure. You will not see 1 independent up and coming animator charging you to watch their film if they want to get it out there. It’s not a gift for us to watch it for free.

      Second, why should anyone cut her or anyone other animator any slack? She should be given legitimate critique. Good or Bad. Period.

      • Lily

        Because if you know how much work goes into animating this, instead of critics and harsh comments, suggestions to how she could have made this better, (yes that includes what choices of music you think is gonna make this top notch) would be a nicer response in a day like Christmas.

        Secondly, it’s not a gift for those who doesn’t enjoy it, nobody forces you to watch her work. I personally like her work, and while I agree the story isn’t that strong, but I still enjoyed it a lot and am thankful for it.

        Oh, and thank you Jessica Borutski! Keep making these animation, I love them. :)

      • Stephen Levinson

        I think I’ve been very fair with my comments. And yes, I’m an animator so I understand what goes into making this.

      • Charlie

        What I would love to see is an animated reply to what people don’t like about the short. Or even better a short that they themselves made that they view as done the right way. I imagine that if a reply was made it would take even longer than “4 years” and would have severely less polish and technical merits. Making a short while you have a full time job is entirely different than if you made one in school where you were paying people to “critic” you. As well it’s entirely different than being paid to do it as a day job. The fact that she was able to get this done while working for a living is amazing and I applaud her great efforts and beautiful results. I would love to see fans and detractors alike make films in response to this since it has been such a catalyst for opinions.

  • Reem

    I’m sorry Elliot, I didn’t want to sound impolite or offend anybody in any way I just expressed my opinion about the piece that’s all. In my opinion what makes a good animated short or piece of animation is several elements including good Story, Good compositions, original Designs, distinct Animation style, New ideas -even provocative-, a story conclusion…..etc what an artist does is nourish the art form and provides new ideas and possibilities to the medium
    however in Jessica’s piece what I saw was a mediocre flash animation short.
    The story had a lot of problems, it’s starts off with suggesting a conflict between friends then goes into a different path and so on and so forth
    The characters was plain, the bunny didn’t seem alive to me, and the other character could have had more presence in the bunny journey.
    The animation was stiff I’ve seen amazing work done in flash that you can’t tell it’s flash, in this short you can see the repetition of the same symbol/cycle and like stephen said the tweening was jarring, not to mention the music which enough said about that.
    The characters and the animation did remind me of Nick cross and If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you can check his blog http://pyatyletka.blogspot.com/ and take as a good example for solid story telling, great flash animation and really content I mean the moral of Jessica’s film was bizarre and quite shallow.
    Anyhow I apologize again if I hurt anyone’s feelings but I was just expressing how I felt and it came out harsh

    • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

      Reem – hardly a need to apologize.
      I didn’t much love the cartoon either.
      My point is that if your going to shit on something you should at least have the conviction to say why.

  • http://coroflot.com/guz Guz

    I like the style, but the story seems to me dull and I lost my interest in the middle. It keeps going on and on and on and there’es no change of pace…

    And not to mention the moral: “if people think you’re ugly you’ll never be happy”.

  • Scarabim

    I don’t much care for cartoons which use cynicism and meanness in an attempt to be different. Or “adult”, or whatever.

    Seems the animator has some good mechanical techniques, but man, the story for this short really needed some work.

  • Darkblader

    Great cartoon, perhaps the reason why it doesn’t make sense because it was heading towards the disney acid sequence maybe?

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    I liked the designs and movements. I picked up a fair number of tips on how to approach drawing. From what i think i know Jessica is not daft so the story must be more than meets the eye. I took it to mean -

    dump your friends

    try to get new friends who don’t like you because you don’t look correct.

    Your old friend returns and provides a remedy for your ugliness.

    you kill him.

    now fixed those that previously rejected you like you.

    there must be a deliberate bending of the traditional story line here.

  • http://www.daintyproductions.com DAINTY

    Short was awesome Jess. Your designs are amazing, the story is unique and your experimentation in your shorts is what keeps you original. Great work!

  • http://Nicktorious.net NicklasNN

    Nice. Cute as hell. Not sure how I feel about the overall lesson, though. The Bunny got help from the little mole (it is a mole, isn’t it?) that she rejected earlier. Granted it was by getting kicked in the teeth by a cute donkey and she accidentally kills it (the mole) right after (which I thought was kinda funny)! Poor little guy.

    That said, this short shows an amazing amount of polish to it. I don’t mind the tweened look as much as some people. The keys looked like they were done (beautifully) by hand and that’s usually what I prefer. I’d just consult someone else about the story (maybe with some rough story boards) before carrying on.

  • Jiles M.

    I quite liked the animation and the character designs.

    I don’t understand all the gripes about the story because most independent animated shorts have very little story. As for complaints about the moral, the cartoon itself acknowledges itself as a “silly satire”. I took it as a parody of shallow Disney shorts about cute animals.

  • Jorge Garrido

    Wow, the comments are are really critical. I thought it was terrific, and I actually really liked the music!

    Go Jess!

  • The Ghost of Warner Bros. Past

    Good Lord, people.
    All the work put into this by an independent animator and all you can do is dump on it?
    I am appalled by your faint praise to this great effort.

    • http://madaboutcartoons.blogspot.com/ William Wray

      personally I get mad when something is so close to being good–I ignore the crap.

      • The Gee

        Like you, I tried to post a comment last night and it didn’t get put up. I’m still waiting to find out if that was a glitch or just something I said.

        Your comment does allow me the chance to mention one of the things I had in that missing post.
        In all fairness to the cartoon, it doesn’t need to be considered the Final Cut or In-The-Can. If Jessica considers it to be, then I guess it is. But, if Jessica were inclined to do so she could add Foley Effects to it and add a different element to it which–given the humor she is going for–will add a lot of pop to it, don’t you think?

        One of the things about some aspects of film making nowadays is there is room to change something quickly or in due time. Again, if she’s fine with what she made (And, I gotta presume she is) then this is the cartoon we get to see, to experience.

        I think good SFX would help you, and probably others who are being hypercritical, of ignoring “the crap.” But, that’s just my assessment.

        To everyone who is being critical, dig what Jiles. M pointed out about it being a “Silly Satire.” I’m not sure when this phenomena began but when and what precipitated that you were going to be spoon fed satire to your liking, with a message that you love?

        There is no change in the main character, no development, because the character is that dense of a narcissist and just blind to too many things, like its true friend, the mole, and why it was scaring other animals (which all were, just as superficial as the rabbit, by the way.)

        So, for those who have a problem with the message, satire isn’t about assuaging your wants. It ain’t about pandering to the audience.

      • Stephen Levinson

        Hi Gee,

        You bring up some good points. But SFX wouldn’t fix the story. And the story is the only thing people remember.

        The issue I have about the “Silly Satire” thing is that you have to read that. It should be shown through the characters actions throughout the story, or with a twist with the story. I’m not interested in reading an animation. You shouldn’t need to read something to go “ohh now I get it.”

        I think an incredible amount of work went into making this and I can appreciate her efforts.

      • Jorge Garrido

        Bill, you getting mad when it’s “so close to being good” implies that the film would have been good if Jess has only tried harder. That’s bullshit, she obviously tried her best to do a very specific one-dimensional idea with the film. Trying harder wouldn’t have willed the film from being a cute, simple story into one with “character development.” That’s alchemy, not “so close to being good.”

      • Stephen Levinson

        @Jorge I don’t think that’s what It implies at all. That’s not what I thought. What I think Bill meant was that if the story was better this could have been a knockout. The effort Jess put in is irrelevant to his remark about being almost-good I believe.

      • Jorge Garrido

        I think if having a good story is the definition of good, this short isn’t “almost good.” It’s a completely different animal.

    • eeteed

      that is, i agree with the ghost of warner bros. past.

    • Ryoku

      Hey, what’re we supposed to do? Plus not everyone is calling this bad.

  • The Gee

    Hi Stephen,
    OK. Your point about knowing the production company’s name is valid enough. You’re right, for satire to be satire it doesn’t need to be labeled. In fact, the best just comes across as satire, period.

    One of the points you made–and others, too–is that there is little or no character development. Given what is in the cartoon, no. The rabbit doesn’t learn anything. It doesn’t change nor does it grow nor does it get what’s coming to it. Throughout the cartoon, it is completely oblivious to what it doesn’t see, what it DOES see and does not know.

    As a storytelling gimmick, if you will, that is considered Dramatic Irony. That type of irony is when a character is unaware of something which the audience IS aware of. The rabbit is vain, the rabbit dismisses its one true friend, the rabbit is more blind than the mole is, etc.

    You would think that the twist which happens once the rabbit sees what is scaring the (superficial) forest creatures (which in real life are not vain in the least) would be that the rabbit realizes something about itself. So after it sees its reflection, you would expect growth. Instead, the one true friend decides to help the rabbit with what can only be considered a Cartoon Solution, a Kick in the Face by a Mule. Instead of knocking sense into it, it basically did cosmetic surgery, fixing the “problem” for the rabbit.

    The rabbit learned nothing. And, while it appreciated the Mole for helping, it didn’t care at all that it killed the mole. Why? The rabbit is a vain, narcissistic creature that has shallow ambitions and can’t see the trees for the forest. The mule saw the mole explode, knew what went down and skulked off stage.

    On the story itself, obviously the way it is presented isn’t making it obvious to viewers. That’s a shame. My want for adding SFX is two-fold:
    One, it emphasizes the gags, visual gags, reactions, anticipation, etc.;
    Two, it punctuates the the type of cartoon this is, which is a bit jokier than what the music is allowing to come across. If the music fit like a glove, a la a classic Looney Tunes score, then the audience would be more forgiving of a lack of story. The alternative to that, using the same music (which is tricky) is to add SFX. It would tighten it up, it would set things up it would allow for payoffs with the gags.

    • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

      I think you got it right.

      While I don’t think the story is perfect or hilarious I believe people is taking it too seriously. I think there are not morals intended, it’s all kinda ironic, the fact that the rabbit killed the mole, for instance, is totally jokey and tongue-in-cheek.

      It could be funnier or better told but the character designs, backgrounds and animation are very well done, so I think there’s no reason for such harsh criciticisms. Some constructive criticism are ok, but most of them go a little too far.

      I liked the I Like Pandas short more precisely cause it didn’t really try to tell a story so it worked better as visual short. I kinda liked the music on that one more too.

  • DavetheRave

    Jess, congrats on finishing a film and making it available for us to see. Sorry guy up above, but the statement of “the reason any animator makes their film (available) for free is exposure” shows a very limited view. How about putting up an end product because films are meant to be seen? How about finally capping off a creative spark, demonstrating an eagerness to learn from making films, or showing marked enthusiasm to do something with their lives, I mean other than leave comments on websites. And did she ask for a critique? No, not really. But keep giving your opinion just the same so you can get more exposure, you know, like an independent animator.

    • Stephen Levinson

      @Dave

      You’re right, that is a limited view. Your added points are definitely true, no doubt about that.

      This website is known for sparking civil debates and any work anyone ever does is up for critique.

      I’m writing how I feel. I’m not going to not say anything because I think someone might think I’m trying to put my name out there. I feel very strongly about this and am voicing my opinion. I’m giving meaningful thought into it. She’s the one with several cartoon brew posts. Not me.

  • SJ

    Loved the animation! Character and color design were top notch. But Please please please redo the soundtrack. It deserves something without all the electronic pots and pans clanking noise.

  • Ryoku

    How about this for a title? “A rabbit jumps around while I play unfitting music”.

    Nice colors but vague designs, styles all too familiar (do a donkey and a rabbit have to have identical heads?), outlines are too bold, and like others I didn’t really care about the character since all he\she did was run around smiling.

  • Grumpy Animator

    ‘GRRRRRR This is far better than anything I have ever done so i will now comment on how crap it is even though it isn’t. What I will do is pick tiny little insignificant things that I don’t like in my own opinion and brandish them around like they are fact.’

    Oh my inner monologue is going off again!

    Joking aside this is a really nice bit of work, okay so I did not personally like the music (It didn’t give off the feel I was expecting after seeing the previews and build up on her blog, I was expecting Carl Stalling to do the music!!!!) but she didn’t do the music and after all its her vision so good for her!

    Well done Jessica

  • John

    Wow the only way people will like you is based on your (shallow) appearance! Talk about a messed up message!

    • the Gee

      Again, why are people thinking that she is somehow advocating something?

      Why are you looking for some redeeming message or value? It is a cartoon.
      Just because there are all animals in it doesn’t mean there needed to be an Aesop-like payoff at the end. And yet so many of you seem to expect that. Is that some result of conditioning?

      I guess I’ve read enough of Flannery O’ Connor’s short stories to appreciate what this cartoon is. That and I’ve seen other cartoons with similar approaches to humor.

      But I am curious, if a guy did this, did something about beauty and social acceptance, would you try reading so much into it as most of you seem to be doing?

      • Ryoku

        Thats what I was wondering, I never expect messages in other cartoons therefore its only fair not to expect any here.

  • http://www.omnitarian.me Omnitarian

    Well, *I* loved it. The narrative and sound design never even crossed my mind until I jumped down into the comments; I mean, with this piece the plot is essentially just a pretense to shuffle to the next gorgeous background painting/character design/inbetween. All of which are some of the best I’ve seen, at least from an indie animation.

    As a short film I *guess* you can grovel about it, but as a showcase of the animators’ skills, it’s A+. And for a labor-of-love short made by a handful of independents, testing the waters for a brand, were you really expecting more than a showcase?

    (And for what it’s worth, I thought the music was perfectly pleasant.)

  • Frank Ziegler

    Well, I was impressed ! I think it could be a little “tighter” editing-wise. (Shorten some of the shots) Add some sound effects and (as everyone else here has noted) the music track, then I’d say you have a nifty little film to send around to festivals.

  • 12 years in the biz

    why does this get so much attention? it was just a designer’s wank fest. she’s clearly not someone who has spent much time working as a storyteller. she made a cute little catchy panda thing years ago and it got her some notoriety, she spends FOUR YEARS drawing cute animals and stringing them together with some song she probably is obsessed about, and thats it. not a storyteller, not a director, not even an animator. just a designer who is nostalgic for Bambi and WB cartoons.

    FOUR YEARS and no second look at the story? clearly she didn’t care.

    but it doesn’t matter these days does it. not even big time animated feature films have story as a focus. wow them with fancy pictures, thats it. well if you’re impressed by that, good for you. go watch “idiocracy” to see your future.

    • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

      haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha
      that’s great.

      I think that concludes the post

      all the best for 2011 kiddies!

    • Jorge Garrido

      Jess Borutski’s independent short film is a symptom for the coming idiocracy. Got it.

      • Jorge Garrido

        That should have read “symptom OF the coming idiocracy.” I’m a dope.

  • Geneva

    Aw man, the whole world needs to be filled with Jess Borutski critters.

  • http://www.goodaboy.com Rajesh

    I don’t care that there wasn’t a redeeming moral. What’s the moral to any classic Bugs Bunny cartoon?

    But those classics are entertaining and have solid structure when it comes to storytelling. Something this did lack.

    It’s very pretty though, and I’m sure she’ll get better with each effort if she keeps at it. Just don’t let the next one take 4 years ;)

  • http://www.goodaboy.com Rajesh

    I also want to add that I’m impressed by the number of people working on this short. It’s not something she made by herself in her room late at night. Coordinating that number of people is a talent in itself. And anyone who has tried to, knows what I mean.

  • Ridd

    I got it and thought it was hilarious. Not everything needs a perfect little PC bow tied around it. Really great design and I loved the trippy dream sequence. Great work, Jessica. Be proud.

  • Vik

    Beautiful artwork. Annoying characters with unoriginal design. Terrible music. Leaden pacing, uneven timing, and awful storytelling.

    The art is slick and the attitude is ironic so it gets a lot of attention. Makes for nice tee-shirt and coffee mug designs though.

  • Charlie

    I love it! The designs and the animation are strong! There are a few small things that could be changed but the same could be said about any piece. The backgrounds are gorgeous, the characters have so much appeal that they shine brighter than a pair of new teeth. The dream sequence brought back fond memories of Dumbo mixed with Darla Dimple’s Big and Loud sequence from Cats Don’t Dance. As for all this jibber-jabber about moral message I didn’t realize that artist have to subscribe to a some code of conduct. This is pure fun entertainment at it’s best! I love the solid drawing, the amazing use of Flash and the beautiful colours. I don’t enjoy the music but that is the creator’s choice and that is where that stands. Amazing job and I look forward to more Silly Satire cartoons, maybe with that hansom Mole!

  • Kip W

    It looked good, but I came away feeling like I was watching it forever and nothing much happened. Maybe cutting some of the fat out would help.

    My other gut reaction is irrelevant, as the creator of the cartoon never said it was unfair to criticize something that a person worked hard on, so I’ll leave it vaguely implied and bow out.

  • http://subrosa-rosamundi.blogspot.com Suzanne Dargie

    Yeah…okay so there wasn’t much of a story….but some people aren’t story people. Maybe the editing wasn’t exactly what you people wanted, but not everybody has the same sense of timing. Okay….yeah…the music could be annoying……but I’ve heard far worse.

    What this girl is, is a designer/animator. She’s great at really cutsie characters and animating them. But that’s a good thing! It’s nice to see some appealing designs that weren’t designed by a committee and they move beautifully!
    On visual appeal alone I think this is a wonderful little short!

  • http://tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    The character designs and the look for the animation I thought was done well, especially where there’s Flash animation that’s horribly done on television. I did appreciate her desire to keep it traditional as possible with the media she was using.

    The music didn’t bother me, it was unique for her concept. Techno pop music is widely being used by artists to teen audiences, to portray different means (for it to be cool, cute, popular, etc.). I felt it worked for what the main character was trying to do, to be noticed by everyone and to be accepted…however, just like the real world, not everyone favors techno pop as the best genre of music, as you can see in the animation.

    I felt that the ending could’ve been better. It left me wondering what happened to one of the main characters (don’t want to spoil it). Clearly, we do see what happens, but I felt the resolve was very quick and not concrete as it could have been.

    All that aside, I did enjoy watching it, seeing a personal animation and having her voice be seen. I also really want to know which software she used in the making of this project. Congrats on finishing this project Jessica, and that you continue to make many more!

    • Ryoku

      “it was unique for her concept. Techno pop music is widely being used by artists to teen audiences”

      Its one or the other bub, I don’t mind techno but here it was out of place.

      • http://tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

        I was explaining how techno pop music was used in her concept, as why many musical artists use that style to attract their audiences, while alienating many others. That’s what I was showcasing there.

  • Rich

    I enjoyed it for what it was. Congrats Jess on a great job!

    Is it how I would have done this? Nope! But then again, it’s not my movie, not my vision, not my motivation to get this out there.

    If I have to pander to the expectations of everyone here, it would be yet another bland cookie cutter formula short.

    Congrats again! Hope to see more.

    • Ryoku

      Regarding most of this shorts criticism:

      This is a short, silly cartoon so sticking in messages or morals would’ve been difficult and unnecessary, something like this is simply meant to entertain, not to teach.

      When it comes to the characters I didn’t care much for any of them but how is someone supposed to develop a character in one little short? There wasn’t much of a character to start with but why are we judging a cartoony short like its a feature length film?

      I’m not trying to defend this short, but criticizing it for not having stuff thats typical for full length films is like buying a Yugo and expecting power seats.

      • Danny

        While I don’t think the film deserves to be bashed the way some people are bashing it, I don’t think it needs to be coddled either.

        Having a story with a message and a developed character is EXTREMELY possible to do in a short film, what are you talking about?

        Hundreds if not thousands of short films (animated and live action) are submitted every year to film festivals around world which do an amazing job showing good character development and delivering a message from the filmmaker to the audience.

        I’m not saying Jessica has to have these things, but for you to say that it’s unreasonable to expect a message and character development in a short is just ridiculous.

      • Ryoku

        It may be possible but I don’t know why its so seemingly important, I don’t remember anyone expecting development or messages when they watched a Looney Tunes short or even complaining about a lack of any.

        But, did I say it was unreasonable to expect these? No, I never did.

        It may be possible to preach and develop in shorts but I still stand by that its difficult to do with a limited time.

        If a cartoon ain’t entertaining the audience it ain’t doing its job.

      • Stephen Levinson

        I’m sorry Ryoku, but based on your comments you clearly know absolutely nothing about short films, story telling or animation. Every character in Looney Tunes has a clear personality and goal and the characters lead the stories. Having strong characters in a short film isn’t an unforeseeable goal that can be looked past. For you to defend that it is, is BEYOND absurd.

        Short films don’t need messages, but they need well developed characters. And this film really drives pretty hard at a message without a strong character.

      • Ryoku

        I… what? Yes, shorts seriously benefit from strong characters but what I meant was development which means the character changes, there’s a fine line between that and a good personality that stays.

        How in Gods name do my comments imply I “clearly know absolutely nothing about short films, story telling or animation”?

        Think before ya speak, yeesh.

      • Stephen Levinson

        “how is someone supposed to develop a character in one little short?”

        This. Uhm… thousands of people do it, but It’s difficult.

        “It may be possible but I don’t know why its so seemingly important”

        This. It is THE most important thing. If it wasn’t important, characters would be forgettable.

        “I don’t remember anyone expecting development (or messages) when they watched a Looney Tunes short or even complaining about a lack of any.”

        ^ And definitely this. The Looney Tunes are some of the greatest characters, and they’re VERY developed and dimensional. You don’t watch Bugs Bunny and think “oh he’s just another rabbit”. When watching him you get a real good sense of his personality and who he is as a character.

      • Stephen Levinson

        The reason you probably don’t think about it is because the characters are SO well done, that to you, it’s just bugs bunny. Not a drawing or 24fps. But a real character.

      • Ryoku

        You haven’t told me how my statements show any lack of knowledge on animation or storytelling. I’ll admit that I don’t know much about story telling, just what works and what dosen’t. But I know a lot about animation.

        I shouldn’t have to explain that the character development that people expect is stuff where in the story the character changes, think Luke Skywalker.

        Characterization is what you think I was talking about, and yes its important and certainly helps any form of story its in.

        And if you’re trying to make me look like a clown just say it, I don’t understand why you’re defending something that I wasn’t even criticizing.

      • Stephen Levinson

        I just posted your statements and why. I’m not trying to make you look like anything, your statements just aren’t valid.

      • Ryoku

        Yet you’re defending something I never attacked which somehow makes my statements invalid.

        Whether I’m wrong or not please understand what I meant by Character Development before assuming I meant something else, please try to understand what I’m saying.

        And if you’re thinking I implied that LT lacked characterization you’re dead wrong, even with some of the shorts that weren’t very good I’d hear complaints (like bad characterization) but rarely anything about character development or messages. But there were only a few bad LTs (and even then they’re just okay).

  • Scott B.

    This was a fantastic cartoon short. The character designs were excellent. There were several well-conceived funny facial expressions/reaction shots throughout. Loved the techno score, and it fit the story well. I don’t know what the critics are smoking. It was happy, boppy, upbeat when the story was happy; it changed tempo during the nightmare sequence. The backgrounds were absolutely stunning.

    It was clearly a parody of the kind of treacly moral tales we all heard as kids, but with a moral all its own. It was an indictment of our quick-fix, skin-deep society that is easily transfixed by glossy surfaces. The whole thing made perfect sense to me, and succeeded in melding medium with message. I don’t want to invest it with more meaning than was intended, but it did have a message.

    I do regret that the bunny hugged his old boring friend, the star-nosed mole, to death. He was cute as a bug’s belly button. But his death was essential to the story, ie., in achieving the acceptance and adulation from the public that the bunny craves, she sacrifices the friend who helped her become the person she wanted to be. There’s a lesson here for everyone who’s ever wanted to be on a reality TV show. The irony is, those people wouldn’t get this cartoon’s real message.

    Brilliant stuff, Jessica and friends. Time well spent.

  • Not So Jealous

    Hey guess what else? Jessica can’t walk on water… Can you believe it?

  • Britt

    Correct me if i’m wrong, but I thought the bunny was a boy. Why are some referring to him as “her” or just “rabbit”?

    • TheGunheart

      I think it’s because of the cream color and vaguely feminine way the eyes are drawn. That said, according to the Foolish Kingdom webesite, found here:

      http://foolishkingdom.com/

      The rabbit is indeed a boy, and named Foolish K. Bunny.

  • http://steve-hogan.com Steve Hogan

    I enjoyed it. The story won’t make me forget Michael Maltese, but most independent cartoons are based on simple premises that give the creator an excuse to create silly images. The complaints that it has a shallow moral seems to disregard the whole subversive tone of the short. I don’t think she’s really trying to say “Just get kicked in the head by a smelly donkey and everything will be okay.”

    As far as the soundtrack goes, it isn’t Carl Stalling but I didn’t hate it. At the very least it’s impressive that she got someone who won the Canadian version of a Grammy.

  • looksee

    I came away from watching this short thinking more about Jessica’s talents as a designer and animator than anything else. I can’t say the story spoke to me in any real way, but as enjoyable eye-candy the piece works.

    Her design work with both characters and backgrounds is great, almost sickly-sweet which sits well with the satirical tone. Her key poses are great too, so full of energy and expression.

    I concede that as a short film this piece has it’s short-comings. But as a show-case of a talented individual’s potential, I think everyone can agree this is exciting work.I look forward to seeing what she does next.

  • The Gee

    Sooooo…..
    Where this all stands now:

    Stephen, not all of short films even need characters. Animated shorts do most often have them though.
    ****
    I was wondering if people actually took the rabbit to be a female one. And, it does seem like that is the case. Ha. I don’t mean to get all anthropological but Zora Neale Hurston’s “autobiographical fallacy”* might come into play here. Since Jessica did the short and did not explicitly show that the character is male, people took it as most likely being female based less on design and more on the fact that she did it.
    That in and of itself can be a bad first step, from an viewer’s perspective.

    It might also explain why so many of you are so shocked at what you see as the “message.” If you are seeing the character as being a girl for some reason you expect for this positive messaging to be laid out that says that looks do not matter when it comes down to making friends. Oy. How off were you for thinking that?

    I hate to be redundant but she laid out some twists that resulted in the ending and that ending works because all of those animals are superficial. If cartoons have taught me anything, it is that animals that wear clothes can be a bit image conscious. haha. It is just too bad the rabbit was not wearing his Sunday’s finest to prove his vanity from the outset. That would have spoken to more people. And, it is a drag that it isn’t apparent that the only way the character changes and develops in in a superficial fashion. He learned nothing. The rabbit is vapid.

    But, in all fairness to those who have problems with the storytelling: things should have been clearer from the beginning. An anvil should have been dropped.

    *ha. After all these years I just realized that may double as a pun

    • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

      Personally I always thought the rabbit was a boy but no, I don’t think people think he’s a ‘she’ because a girl created it.

      I think it’s more related with the ending of the cartoon, when other characters like the owl or the fox and the racoon look at the bunny in a romantic way. Also the bunny does a feminine gesture in the final shot.

      Since the bunny looks “cuter” than those other animals some people thought it was more probable that this one was a girl and the others males.

      But the bunny also tries to be friends with the skunk, who is very clearly a girl, and normally girls doesn’t slap other girls in the face, they do that to boys when they offend them.

      My opinion is that those are some sort of weird, tongue-in-cheek “gay” jokes. Strange that the bunny seems intimidated by the owl but it actually enjoys the company of the other guys.

      And , on an unrelated note, the more I watch it the more I think the soundtrack is not so bad.

      • the Gee

        Believe me, I do want to be wrong in thinking that people might be unintentionally mixing genders for the rabbit.

        Someone mentioned the cartoon short “Little Tinker.” I checked it out and if there is one thing which could be said about it, you know the main character is a guy and kind of desperate.

        But seeing Foolish Bunny as being used for “tongue-in-cheek gay” gags…that didn’t occur to me.

        I will say this about story/storytelling and “Good Little Bunny”: pantomime can be tough to pull off without clarity and there probably are a lot of signs which can be misinterpreted. That’s too bad.

        On the sound track, I watched this twice and both songs, including the Pandas’ song, got stuck in my head. Like I mentioned, to me, the type of humor comes across similar to the Teletubbies and the music contributes to that. It would be hard to mickey mouse the animation’s timing to that music and have the same story result, I’d think.

    • Stephen Levinson

      @Gee, well of course, I thought it was obvious I was only talking about films with characters.

      • the Gee

        oh i know what you meant. What you wrote just came across as a blanket statement.

        Another thing, when it comes down to story and message that people find the short to be sorely lacking, after reading all of the negative reactions, I’m beginning to wonder if it is a suitable allegory for how animators and animation fans react to cartoons.

        oh well. you can make a lot of things out of play-doh.

      • Stephen Levinson

        @Gee you can always speculate :)

  • http://kambodiahotel.blogspot.com BR Inle

    I felt that this was pretty good. The character designs were really lovely. It’s kinda funny to see so many comments struggling with the ‘moral,’ as if a little cynicism is technically and artistically incorrect. I think it’s worth pointing out from time to time that people (or bunnies) don’t always learn the right lessons…Sometimes the bad are rewarded. We shouldn’t wait around for them to change. (Although I hold out some hope that the vain little bunny will spend eternity in hell or be reincarnated as some inferior creature, like a star-nosed mole.=p)

  • Ernie

    I liked the designs,and it was animated well.It needed some gags though.

  • Wolfie

    The designs were well done, simple and cute.
    Most of the animation was well done, fluid and easily read.
    This is clearly not a story driven cartoon. Someone mentioned above that this is a “designers wank fest” and I agree.
    That said, every story needs a payoff at the end. Be it a gag, a moral or an atomic bomb, something to show closure. This had nothing.
    Now if the bunny overdosed on coke she acquired from one of her new friends and then met her little mole friend in hell who was also the one responsible for doling out punishment, then maybe I’d give better credit to the story.

  • Luke

    So many story snobs

    “blah, blah, blah, the story was boring, you need dimensional characters, blah, blah, blah”

    I thought the short was quite charming, some of the music was a little out of place. Great coloring, great appealing character designs, and a decent pace. Best digital animation I have ever seen.

  • Jorge Garrido

    HA! NOW YOU MUST PROVE YOUR OPINION, LUKE! ANIMATION DEATHMATCH . . . BEGINS!

  • Craig

    I do not like the cartoon, I don’t like the designs, the style, I don’t think Jessica has very much talent at all and certaintly shouldn’t have the job she currently has. I hope she ends up getting knocked down a few pegs somewhere down the road and doesn’t keep going along thinking she’s actually any good.