Sunday Afternoon with a Kid With A Rocket Launcher

Two separate independent projects, with little in common outside of both being made essentially by one person, each with a lot of dedication. First up, Matthew Reis’ Kid With a Rocket Launcher:

Reis’ film is quite an ambitious project. Toon Boom just did an article on how it got made, and Reis has posted an extensive production blog.

Danny Ochoa, an indie animator residing in San Francisco, was commissioned to direct and animate a music video by local Bay Area band The Greening. I think it captures the proper underground comix feel:

Danny tells us:

Yes, I made the entire cartoon by myself… Written, directed and animated. The cartoon took me a year to complete because I had to work nights on it and had a day job at the time. It was rendered entirely in Flash and I tried to keep the look of the cartoon as traditionally hand drawn as possible, as almost every frame was meticulously hand drawn with a wacom tablet.

I love underground comics and cartoons from the golden age of animation so I tried to combine those two looks to the cartoon. The characters in the video are actually from a comic I have been self publishing for years called Molly & Jo. I hope to someday pitch “Molly & Jo” as an animated series and hope that the video is the first step in that direction.


  • http://www.mukpuddy.blogspot.com Mukpuddy

    Wow, great animation in the “Kid With a Rocket Launcher” short!

  • james madison

    Good work. Great o see people making their dream happen.

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

    The animation for both projects are interesting. I guess my critique for both of projects is the story telling. Fuzz of War wasn’t engaging enough, I almost felt like the kid’s mother, wondering when he’ll stop. If there was some more spice of comedy in the story, then I think it would really be a seller. For the second one, it left some holes of explaining what happens next to the two main characters. I will say though that Danny was able to get the traditional animation in the music video.

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

    Nice stuff, but Sam Niemann did a Flash series of animated shorts called Ruby Rocket Adventures that used the traditional approach of drawing every frame.

    Check the first one here: http://www.awntv.com/videos/ruby-rocket/

  • Jason

    The kid in Kid With A Rocket Launcher has a woman’s voice. It’s painfully obvious and interfered with my enjoyment of the toon.

  • Karma

    Jason, you haven’t watched much anime have you? And of course, that’s what the art style is clearly based on. This happens alllll the time.

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    The adult woman doing a boy’s voice was the damaging flaw for “Rocket Launcher” for me, too.

    I know it’s VERY hard to find real kids who can deliver lines. But given the whole cartoon is carried on that performance… they shoulda cast a real boy or reconsidered the concept .

    That was part of the magic of “Iron Giant”. I think… they found a kid who could do “kid”.

    I liked the look. A bit longish. Well, more than a bit.

    Sure were a lot of names in the credits for a one-man production!

  • http://smomotion.com :: smo ::

    just watched the kid with the rocket launcher short, great design and some great animation in there! but i’m not sure why the animator chose to squash the entire symbol of the character’s body so much. it sort of breaks the sense of volume and turns the character to jelly, i think in a lot of instances they could have gotten the same effect across by actually moving the whole symbol or the head symbol [whatever the proprietary toon boom term is] a bit without squishing it. it’s a well executed short but i think it would have been enhanced without those squishy moves.

  • RoboFingernail

    Haha, no excuse for the voice actor, whether male or female, the voice acting was really bad… and that film was alllllll talking. I was engaged and enjoyed the first half despite hating the voice, but it started to drag too much in the second half.

  • Isaac

    @Joel Brinkerhoff

    I think the Ruby Rocket short shows that as a cost-cutting measure, animating on fours takes less time and produces better results than using Flash tricks.

    AniBoom should publish the four remaining episodes!

  • Sara H.

    I agree, the voice actor was cringe-worthy. It’s too bad because they obviously put a lot of effort into the animation

  • mayhem and jchee

    awesome-sauce!!! good work!

  • Bobby D.

    The voice hurt the piece for me as well. Just points out how important it is to have ALL of the elements working in any film. Nice job though…congrats.

    “Nemo” without Albert Brooks, anyone?! No disrespect to Bill Macy, of course.

  • doop

    Yeah, they need to scrap the voice on the kid for that short, besides that, everything else was fine.

  • elan

    Its really too bad though, because the rocket launcher short is drawn and animated pretty well, but it’s not funny and the voice is annoying, and frankly, it’s boring.