“The Pig Farmer” by Nick Cross

Pig Farmer

The Pig Farmer, the latest short by Canadian filmmaker Nick Cross (The Waif of Persephone, Yellow Cake), debuts online today. Cross’s appealing and traditional cartoon imagery lulls us into a sense of comfort before…well…let’s just say it turns NSFW.


  • http://gagaman.blogspot.com Gagaman

    Best film of Nick’s to date! Cor!

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    hats off

  • Emmett Goodman

    WOW! Dazzling, and yet, compelling! Nick Cross does it again!

  • Ridd

    just incredible. congrats nick!

  • Matt Sullivan

    Great animation but I really MUST object to the use of the world trade center imagery. That’s pretty fu*king offensive if you ask me.

    • Marcklopfenstein

      Why would you be offended by something added to extract mood for entertainment?

    • Shannon

      Just out of curiousity when does images of the WTC not become offensive?

    • Hulk

      There was also Holocaust imagery. He had a sign at the gate of his farm that read ‘Arbeit Macht Frei” (work makes you free) which is an exact replica of a sign the Nazi’s put at the gate of Auschwitz. Did you find that offensive too?

      I’m not being argumentative. I’m just curious.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/VujadeEntertainment#p/u/0/3HaupcJwAdk Steve Schnier

        There were a few images that I found offensive. But I realize that they were put there to shock and create a feeling of unease for the viewer.

        Were they appropriate? Hard to say. I don’t see “THE PIG FARMER” as being a funny kiddie cartoon, so in the context of art and what Nick Cross was trying to achieve, yes.

    • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

      Nick please replace all imagery with puppies, sunshine, rainbows and dandelions…thank you the management

    • Paul N

      “The Simpsons” used a WTC reference last night.

    • tommy

      Congrats! You got it!

    • Dee

      Oh, boo-hoo.

    • rghbr

      Yeah, I mean the images of murder and nudity were like a-ok, right? Jeez, it’s been 10 years, and it was a quick moment. Get over it.

      • http://kelseighn.blogspot.com Kelseigh

        Thinking about it, I kinda think it was a bad move too. Not for the violent imagery, so much as whenever I see “RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES” events it totally kicks me out of the story. I’m left thinking “Isn’t that cute, he wants an emotional reaction here” rather than being swept along with the imagery.

        The general violence and more historical stuff doesn’t jar me the same way.

  • http://dontpokesmot.blogspot.com/ Annie-Mae

    Leave it to Nick Cross to bring on the heavy imagery and metaphors. Love it anyway.

  • Jorge R. Gutierrez

    Brilliant!

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Hoooo leee shit! That was some crazy imagery, and some really fun animation too!

  • Scarabim

    Yeah, I just love it when the bad guys win.

  • jordan reichek

    bageezos. that’s quite the masterpiece…

    yipes…bad trip, though.

  • http://www.dejarnettedesigns.com DeJarnette

    Bravo! A scintillating piece of work!

  • http://joelbrinkerhoff.blogspot.com/ joel brinkerhoff

    Bravo!

  • http://www.toonhole.com Ryan Kramer

    Awesome! What a treat to watch!! Great job, Nick. can’t wait for the next one :)

  • http://www.goodaboy.com Rajesh

    As great as the representational artwork was, the kaleidoscope-like abstract animation was my favorite part.

    • Peter Wassink

      The kaleidoscope effect is easy as pie with software like After Effects or TVPaint, so i guess this is not the biggest compliment you could make Nick.

      As much as i liked the animation itself i didn’t care much for the abundant use of FX tricks like the out of focus parts or the handheld camera, they felt too much like technical tricks and put me out of the film.
      I love Nicks animation and backgrounds and think a piece like this doesn’t need the added digital trickery.

      • http://www.goodaboy.com Rajesh

        It looks like it was done by hand to me. But who knows?

      • David

        Love it! But I agree with Peter, the out of focus mask and other computer effects are totally unnecessary and add nothing to the film. They feel like amateur tricks.

  • http://www.millerandmullet.com Allan Turner

    Loved it!! Unpredictable, disturbing, and FUNNY.

  • Deaniac

    That was simply incredible. It was extremely trippy, but it was pure eye candy. And the twist at the end…that caught me by surprise.

    Kudos to Nick Cross for making such a great film!

  • http://brokenghost.blogspot.com Robert Iza

    Really Fantastic! And just loads of Great imagery!

  • Jay Sabicer

    Very well animated, but as for the story- I’m going to treat this like a UFO sighting: I definitely saw something, but I don’t know what exactly to make of it.

  • http://thatssokraven.livejournal.com/ Kelly Tindall

    Man, Cross is a fantastic animator. He’s the Philip K. Dick of animation; he never met an unhappy ending he couldn’t use.

  • http://somebodyelseslightbox.blogspot.com/ Dani Boy

    My favourite Cross film to date. Great pacing.

  • Ariel

    Congrats Nick!

    You’re a work-a-holic AND you got people to help finance it. Deadly (good) combo.

    Thanks for showing us it CAN be done.

    All the best.

    A

  • Stephen M. Levinson

    Wow that was brilliant! Congrats Nick! Fucking bad ass! I loved the metaphors and the way the story went and everything about it. This is a brilliant short and an incredible work of art/animation.

    Now no one can say a good story/character/moral/whatever is not important just because its a 5 minute short and doing so may be TOO difficult. This film had it all!

    No more excuses other people! Jessica’s film wasn’t the end all of what an animated short could be or have in it.

    • Bill

      I certainly don’t agree this short had a point or… whatever.

      Give Nick credit for his animation and art directing skills, but this was his least-interesting film in my opinion. Pop culture and concentration camp references doesn’t make this a “good story”.

      I was at the Ottawa screening of his last film and it certainly did not get the audience reaction I’d have thought, given all the hard work he’d put into it. But then again, it’s a “personal film” first. It’s not a popularity contest (*unless that’s what Nick’s going after)

      And when referencing Jessica’s film, I don’t see how her film was either innovating or visually appealing. Who wants to see the same-old Flash, bugs bunny-style animation??

      Oh right.. I guess you do.

      Just my two cents.

      • Stephen M. Levinson

        Bill, I didn’t like Jessica’s film at all. When did I ever suggest I did? I said Jessica’s film wasnt the end all of what a short film could be, something most people though of it for some reason.

        So should we make shorts where the meaning is so obvious that a 4-year old could tell you what its about? This short clearly has some hidden and underlying message to it.

  • Erik

    I don’t get it…but great animation!! Don’t like the edge blur though. It somehow distracts from the traditional cell-aesthetic.

  • http://trevour.blogspot.com Trevour

    My favorite part is the coffee pouring into the mug.

    • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

      Is that a euphamism?

  • AaronSch

    A beautifully animated short. Unfortunately, all style and no substance. Was the message supposed to be profound or just plain distasteful?

  • http://rauchbrothers.com Mike Rauch

    He done did it again! Great work, Nick.

  • Geneva

    Whoa!! He really outdid himself in every visual aspect. This guy is one of my favorite working artists!

  • http://monicochavez.com Monico Chavez

    Awesome post! Nick Cross did a great piece. I agree with Wassink re the effects in the beginning being a little over the top. A bit distracting. But amazing work, overall.

  • http://www.meanwhilestudios.com Troy LIttle

    A-mazing! Nick Cross is animation GOLD baby!

  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    I really liked until the hippie fox part. I think it could have just ended there, while he’s hallucinating the foxes eat him. That would be a dark and ironic ending. Predictable maybe but with some sort of a point.

    The rest of the story …hum…it just seems to drag on with worse and worse things for the main character. Him becoming a criminal was sort of interesting but it didn’t make much of it.

    I love the animation but even though I believe comedy shouldn’t be constantly “jokey” I don’t quite see the point of doing a short in this animation style and don’t have many jokes in it. I guess there are visual jokes but it’s such a dark comedy that’s not comedy at all. Even Ren Seeks Help from Ren and Stimpy APC has a lot more comedy.

    I’m more of a fan of that Angora Napkin project he was doing with Troy Little. That was hilarious and had really nice characters.

    But hey, maybe it’s just harmless envy cause I’ll never be capable of make drawings as cool as those.

    • Jm

      yes, I felt like his film ¨Cake¨ was better in that sense, it makes a better point. this one…i don´t know.

    • Ryoku

      Good point, making a serious short using a cartoony style just dosen’t work well, but yes, this should have ended at the hippy fox bit.

  • Jorge Garrido

    nick is getting better and better with each film! what an exciting time to be an animation fan!

    I wrote a similar comment on his blog but deleted it because I worded it stupidly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/JM-Urbina-Animation-Director/138440486216374 J.M.Urbina

    So…The Pig is Charles Manson?

    (Chancho Marranson para los que hablan castellano)

  • chipper

    I like the animation and the colours. I got a bit annoyed with the WTC reference, but that may be due to the fact that I’ve seen too many stupid “edgy” kids with offensive forum avatars relating to the WTC. This is nowhere nearly as offensive, though.

    I’d watch a movie about the pig.

  • http://rodtejada.wordpress.com/ Rod Tejada

    Amazing! Truly, an inspirational work!

  • http://www.andygonsalves.com Andy

    Excellent work! The background art in particular is truly stunning!

  • http://Www.cartoonsaloon.ie Tomm

    Excellent stuff

  • http://mrscriblam.tumblr.com mrscriblam

    loved it, thought the imagery was totally appropriate for what cross was trying to do, loved the ironic twist at the end, etc

  • http://rafatoro.blogspot.com Rafa

    Great! Lovely artwork (seeing hints of Dave Cooper in the backgrounds) and animation! But I still like better Persephone and Yellow Cake…
    Those were films with stronger and more uncomfortable message to me! Congratulations to Nick for the work, can´t wait until his next tale!

  • Steven M.

    Absolutley sensational.

  • http://blog.brianromero.com/ Brian Romero

    Great job Nick! I’m going to have to watch some parts frame by frame to get all the references and symbolism. I appreciate your use of cartoon imagery to expose people to the darker side of humanity as well as political and social corruption.

  • Michael DiMilo

    What a wonderfully disturbing film. I love how quickly the story skids off the rails. Who else but Nick Cross would combine Charlie Manson’s piggies with the horrific modernism of George Grosz? I’m going to have nightmares for weeks. Well done!

  • Brett W. Thompson

    Oh man. Nick Cross is so amazing!!!!

  • red pill junkie

    It was very disturbing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t applaud the effort of an artist trying to show something that is intended to challenge the viewer —when the artist actually *knows* his craft, that is.

    And I’m struggling with trying not to contextualize it too much, because I confess the first thing on my mind was not Charlie Manson, but the crazy flavor of the month —you know who I’m talking about —and that’s obviously not fair to Nick’s clip, which should be perceived as time-less.

    But I do side with those who found the blurry out-of-focus effect too distracting.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    Nick Cross is a genius and so is his wife, Marlo. I hope they breed.

    • Shirley Temple

      I agree

  • rghbr

    …FOX TITS!

    Ok, the rest after that point kinda confused me.

  • Ryoku

    Backgrounds were good, the music did not fit with the setting or character at all.

    The animation was decent though here we have yet again another John K wannabe in terms of style and color choice.

    As far as I could tell this had no story, and if it had a message I couldn’t find it.

    Ooh, bare nipples, Trade Towers, Nazi references, blood!
    So what? That dosen’t make of for a lack of an writing.

    2 out of 5, not a good short at all.

    • beavercleaver

      your ignorant summation is one to treasure ryoku.

      nick transcends john k ( who i think hasn’t made anything decent since weekend pussy hunt ). albeit, he did work for john and learned a lot, but if you knew anything about animation history you’d see nick’s conceptual inspiration isn’t JUST john k. his immaculate sense of timing and storytelling is more–dare i say–old fashioned than john k.

      oh, style and color choice? jesus fucking christ, can you grow some balls and flesh out your silly observations? excuse me as i grab six of akira kurosawa’s films and negate them to kurosawa’s admiration and slight influence of classical japanese illustration.

      it’s easy to insert a message into a piece of work; pig farmer doesn’t condense itself into a singular message nor a singular display of moralistic ineptitude. like all great works of art, it leaves it up to the viewer’s subjective affirmation. to one there might be hints of a message, but nick’s storytelling cloaks the importance of those hints with entertainment. his craftsmanship is impeccable compared to the short films being produced today.

      don’t critique with such angst and cynicism when you misarticulate something as simple as writing.

      • Ryoku

        “don’t critique with such angst and cynicism when you misarticulate something as simple as writing” Find the shift key before you tell me about writing.

        What do you want me to say about Nicks style? For some reason you’ve assumed that I said that John k was his only influence, I said he imitates John K but I didn’t say that was his only influence.

        When I watch cartoons I don’t expect messages nor will I stick any in so Nick gets no minus’s here.

        And why should I have to acknowledge someones actual influences? This guy could be influenced by anyone and this cartoon would still be rubbish.
        I will not remind you again that I’m giving an opinion, not stating the truth.

  • Geneva

    John K wannabe? Wtf? Have you seen any animation prior to midcentury? As for color choices, any fine art paintings before… well, actually, for most of western art history? Savvy use of neutrals has always been a thing.

    • Ryoku

      I’ve seen stuff all the way from the 1910′s to the ’2010s.

      • http://4eyedanimation.com Joe Corrao

        sock him Smokey!

  • http://zavorio.com Z

    I really enjoyed the animation and character design. Mr. Cross’ colors and backgrounds are always great.

    I do feel the whole post-production really ruined it for me. The blur vignette, the liquify and kaleidoscope effect, all felt right out of After Effects presets. And there is no problem with using ‘raw’ effects but they don’t match with this short considering all the attention to detail on the animation and backgrounds.

    And I could actually forget about the effects, but not about the music and the editing. I feel those were the weakest points of the short, both really affected the flow of the story. All the material for an excellent short is there, but for me it just needs to get a major rework on post.

  • http://artlung.com/ Joe Crawford

    So, is there anyone to like in the story of this animation? Was the message a simple “don’t do drugs?” Don’t have sex with strangers? Farming is bad or is it “meat is bad” or, society is pigs? Is it a commentary on Charles Manson? Is it a commentary on 9-11 or the justice system? Is there a particular serial killer this is representing?

    Terrific animation, really wonderfully executed. But I didn’t laugh, I didn’t cry. I felt like my emotional buttons were being pushed, but rather than being carried through a story, or a theme, it was like the random plinking on a piano. it made even less sense than something like Fantasia.

    Kudos to Nick Cross for the wonderful animation, innovative financing, and great promotion, but I hope his next cartoon makes more sense.

  • http://www.hobodivine.blogspot.com/ Hobo Divine

    I can always rely on Nick…

    to open my eyes…

    with a crowbar!

    Congratulations Nick, what an incredible artistic achievement!

    Thank you.

    And thank you Cartoon Brew for posting!

    P.S. Later for the sideline-haters!

  • http://www.hobodivine.blogspot.com/ Hobo Divine

    I can always rely on Nick…

    to open my eyes…

    with a crowbar!

    Congratulations Nick, what an incredible artistic achievement!

    Thank you.

    And thank you Cartoon Brew for posting!

    P.S. And to all the haters, I’m sure you will show us how it’s REALLY done in your next film.