“Amigo Frios!!” by Calin Fernandez (NSFW)

I’ve been debating posting Calin Fernandez’ NSFW thesis animation film from The School of Visual Arts. Some of you will hate it. Most of you will say its ugly. I found it both disturbing and hilarious. Does this guy have a future in animation (or rap music, for that matter)? Is it intentionally absurd or is it deeply profound? I dunno – but if nothing else, I think this has a chance to become a series on Fox…


  • http://ericfleck.com Lurcheeeeeee

    Reminds me of Devin Flynn.

  • Jason ‘vertmb’ Brown

    Oh my, I can’t tell if it’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen or the most beautiful.

  • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog Michael Sporn

    Lots of movement; no animation. They did plenty of the same in the 70s, and those films haven’t lived on.

  • m(_ _)m

    I dunno about that snake stuff at the beginning, but I enjoyed the break dancing.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not even sure the creator himself did the rotoscoping for that.

  • Carl Russo

    I dig the absurdity! Subversion with a message.

  • http://pitchbibles.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    I liked it. It was interesting, but not “commercial”. As to the question, “Does this guy have a future in animation?” – his future is whatever he makes of it. The film is a good start.

  • Toonio

    Definitely edgy.

    Seems like Superjail influence is gaining momentum.

  • Dan McCool

    I love how the internet aesthetic has effected student films. I think older animators who dislike this style have deeper fears of their own obsoletion. Which is silly. Learn from the young and vice versa.

    • Mike

      The day classical styles of animation see obsoletion to a style like this is the day I stop caring about animation for good.

      • Dan McCool

        Of course that won’t happen. I think The solo cintiq’ers are doing a good job bringing handdrawn back to the people. It’s a pretty exciting time right now.

      • The Gee

        I have not watched this because that poster frame is blinding as is….

        Mr. McCool, I am commentin upon what you wrote though:

        You are pointing to a problem that doesn’t exist. Feared “obsoletion”?Obsolescence may be the word you were going for there.

        Championing a style, a look….are you saying a style or a look has won?

        Please don’t tell me you are. It should never be about winning or losing when it comes to art trends. Everything is ephemeral. Nothing lasts forever before it becomes something else. And, for goodness’ sake, co-existence in what could be called “art movements” happens, too. One trend doesn’t eclipse other ways of doing things.

        And, given that Independent animation has been happening for decades, and much of it is done by hand somehow, someway, The People (who animate) were not doing without the ability to make or to show what they’ve made. Now, they have more ways of showing their work. My hope is that in addition to recognition (which is cheap) they get paid (which should not be cheap).

      • Dan McCool

        B-but, the gee, System of a Down has a song called called Obsoletion! Nah, you got me.

        I’M WITH YOU. I don’t see trends, movements, styles as being in some kind of chicken fight. However, I don’t see any reason to deny a certain fear in animators who’ve been out of school for a while. What with new blood coming in to the industry every year, younger and younger animators making higher quality work because of better, cheaper technology, college grads working for less dough than seasoned artists, etc. That said, I don’t live in fear of this every day nor do I think others should. I think its best that the old and new celebrate each others work. Perhaps even offering industry insight to one another instead of taking cheap shots at student work, for example, saying a film doesn’t even merrit a view based on its “blinding poster frame”. Granted I didn’t see Rio for that reason, but give the lad some elbow room.

        I get a kick out of this film. Its fun to see the 14 year olds from Newgrounds coming into their own in art school some years later. They’ve already been playing films off of eachother (hey, i just made comics in grade school) and they want to continue sharing and developing their brand of production. Its exciting and not to be written off.

        Still a vague sentiment? Eh? Anyway, keep it up Calin!

    • Funkybat

      I don’t feel that the negative reactions by “traditional” animators to new styles and techniques is about them “fearing obsolescence.” The only animation medium that I think inspires those fears is 3D CGI vs. 2D line drawn. The abstract, limited, and often simplistic stuff that has flooded the internet and “adult” animation over the past decade or so is not so much a threat to many of them as an annoyance.

      “Classically-trained” animators want to see the 12 principles applied, or at least used as a starting point and then consciously broken for artistic reasons. To them, traditional full-frame hand-drawn animation is the pinnacle of the art form, as much as Renaissance realism represents the pinnacle of Representational Art. That opinion is open to debate, but that’s where they’re coming from, and they are unlikely to change their minds.

      While I share that opinion for the most part, I remain open to forms of animation that violate or ignore these tenets, either willfully or naively. There’s too much amazing stuff out there to ignore anything that doesn’t follow the classic Disney/Warner Bros./MGM cartoon approach. I just wish there wasn’t as much junk mixed in with the amazing stuff…

  • Torg Munson

    It works even better when you read the subtitles out loud in the voice of John Wayne.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    Insufficent.
    Looks like a pale imitation of Y’ALL SO STUPID,
    which did this exact same type of thing much better:
    http://youtu.be/gMVLPGsRKjg

    • http://ericfleck.com Lurcheeeeeee

      Like I said, “reminds me of Devin Flynn”

      • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

        I never looked at the production credits for Y’ALL.
        I am a sloppy fan.

  • http://www.chrisniosi.com Chris “Kirbopher” Niosi

    WOO! Congrats Calin!

  • http://trentanimation.blogspot.com Trent

    I don’t think there’s enough time after the “could introduce Seizures” and when the flashing colours commence.
    I can’t believe I watched the whole thing…how will I top this on a Sunday.

  • cbat628

    It has a similar aesthetic to “The Problem Solverz,” yet I found it infinitely more enjoyable.

    It was pretty good for a laugh. Not really my cup of tea, but like volleyball I’m glad I tried it.

  • Bob Harper

    Fantastic! I applaud him! DIY is what it should be all about – ask Terry Gilliam. I hope this guy has a future in animation, because animation needs him!

  • Jimbo2K7

    Shades of Sally Cruikshank

    http://youtu.be/dOptGLEOsJ8

    • http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog Michael Sporn

      Sally Cruikshank could and can animate.

      • The Gee

        ha ha, Yeah, And fortunately she still does.

        Bringing up her or any of the independent animation from the 70s brings up an interesting point. (OK. It may be just interesting to me. So, abandon all hoops if you want to jump into this….)

        With any art art, there should be more to it than just the surface.
        Now, I haven’t watched this and still don’t feel the need to watch it (not one comment has provided an extra reason).

        The thing is even if the piece has a lot of good parts to it and it works well together, that is probably enough to call it good. But, don’t laud the artist too much. Let him make something else. See how that holds up and if it is good or better than this.

        I know I am hardly being fair and the student might be gearing himself for a career at this but I just believe making one good thing means less than being able to make many good things. And, that takes time, and as I’m sure Sally and others know, experience. Experience includes making bad stuff or mistakes and getting right back into it and figuring out how good can be made, showing how good stuff can be made.

        That’s where the DIY thing doesn’t go so far. If someone animates stick figures doing mundane things (to a rocking beat) and both the piece and the animator are lauded then if the next piece is another stick figure animation to a slightly different rocking beat….why? Why did that happen?

        Is it because she/he is that good of an entertainer that more of their animation, their cartoons, are clamored for? Are they growing as artists for doing more than one stick figure animation? Or did they find a niche and felt that filling that niche is more important than making good cartoons, better than the previous ones they made?

        So much of what cartoons are is that they look simple and often are not simple. The best of them belie the complexities. (unlike car-robots that smash things, there really is more than meets the eye)

        Cartoons are not simple to make, take time to make and are more than is shown or heard. Okay. True, sometimes you can go the classic route and make ‘em fast, dirty and quick. They can be as spontaneously created as scribbles allow. However…

        It takes some time to figure out how a good cartoon (of any kind) works out. And, for the end result to be good….well, all of us know what Good is. We’ve seen it, grown up with it, worked on it, made it once in a while. The best is rare and the rest is there.

        Just don’t give this cat too much until you see the next one and see what else they can do. And, hopefully there is a lot to what he is doing and he does it well.
        (and, yes, he may have prior work which is different, better or worse, but let him build off of this one to see if he’s serious, has chops and drive to accomplish more.)

        I hope the next time I have a chance to see something he made, it just blows me away but I’m gonna wait and see…

    • Funkybat

      Well, if you look at a given still frame, perhaps. If you actually watch it in motion, then watch a Sally Cruikshank cartoon in motion, not so much. I do agree that it is reminiscent of a lot of “underground animation” from the late 70s-mid 80s.

  • DB

    I am congenitally unable to understand 80% of any kind of song lyrics – so have no idea what that was about, but…

    Giving this guy the benefit of the doubt, I enjoy the way he seems to grasp the emotional power (dare I use the word ‘frisson’) crude/primitive drawings can have. Not that this is any new discovery, but still enjoyable.

    Some of the drawings of people remind me of the cartoonist Mark Alan Stamaty (what the hell ever happened to him?).

  • http://www.ryancomiskey.com ryan

    “RAP” is a comedy convention I’m tired of. I’m all for unconventional or ” PURPOSEFULLY TACKY”animation
    like Peter Millard

    http://vimeo.com/8333896

    but this is hardly endearing.

  • Deanaic

    Hey, this guy could have a future at Paper Rad.

  • http://n/a Wile E. Worm

    Break dancing was over by 1989. It never had the slightest appeal to me. It is not dancing at all, but acrobatics.
    As for the “music”, the moment I heard what kind it was, I turned it off. The visuals were ugly in design, but interesting in color choices. The ideas were amusing in some spots; mostly an amateur production. A “C” grade.

    • http://www.wardjenkins.com Ward

      “Break dancing was over by 1989…”

      I know for a fact that this statement is entirely NOT TRUE. The art form of b-boying (not ‘break dancing’, which is a media contrived term, btw) is truly alive and well. And much MUCH more than what you derisively describe as ‘acrobatics.’ To the untrained eye, i’m sure it looks like a bunch of guys moving around frantically, but I assure you, there are some incredible aesthetics going on in the way they move and battle each other. It’s quite amazing. B-boying is one of the most influential dance movements in the 20th century and it’s still influencing many to this day.

      So, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s “over.”

      • Funkybat

        It probably would have been more accurate to say “break dancing was ‘over’ in the mainstream mass media by 1989.” I’ll bet a lot of people thought “Insane Clown Posse” and the whole Juggalo thing was “over” after the initial mainstream surge in the late 90s. In recent years it’s become common knowledge that that “fad” never really died out, and actually grew into a whole fringe movement.

        The upshot is; a lot of things that were wildly popular briefly that then faded out of mass awareness are far from “dead.”

  • sigh

    If this is clever and subversive and the new direction, then Clutch Cargo was years ahead of its time.
    It’s not edgy, it’s sophomoric. At best.
    It’s not creative. I’ve seen most of it before–and better with South Park, which has effectively removed much of the shock value in certain animated scenes.
    The whole hip hop dancer scene was listed, likely straight from the source.
    I hope this guy never intends to enter a rap battle with his rapping. “The Message” it ain’t.

  • Mister Fusion

    Mi madre la tierra es mi origen biológico y el tuyo es el mono que está en el zoológico. They won me with that line.

  • Calin Fernandez

    Wow!! I am infinitely flattered and honored to be part of the animation discourse here at Cartoon Brew! Thanks for the praise, criticisms, and thoughtfulness with which you all have commented.

    I would like to address some specifics; I utterly worship Devin Flynn and “Ya’ll So Stupid”! His work was hugely inspirational, hilarious, and motivating to me, during my four year studies at SVA. Brad Neely’s was also particularly inspiring.. My influences have always been of the counter-culture, psycadelic, and surreal persuasion. Dali, Liquid TV, MTV’s Oddities, WonderShowzen, etc. I don’t feel per say that I am copying what Devin does, because I definitely have my own ideas that are very distinct, and unlike his personal experiences. But given the very colorful, and comedic sensibilities we both share, similarities will undoubtebly be apparent.

    Otherwise, before SVA, I never fathomed myself an animator, but my drawings are in the precise vein of absurdity, violence, humor, sexuality, and celebration of color that have culminated into this senior film.

    To those that think I am using “Rap” or “Hip-Hop”, as a gimmick, nothing could be further from reality. I have been rapping, for over 15 years, and this style on “Amigos Frios” is particularly distant from what I actually do, which is much more rapid, stream of consciousness, poetic, and anti-rap. I am disinterested in Rap Battles, my freestyle is shit, and I’ve never beat boxed before this film(which is painfully evident), but I am totally an authentic lyricist, and music/rap afficianado!

    The BBoying element is huge because, it is a large part of my identity. I did have help w rotoscoping btw, doing half myself, and my undergrad friend (who is also a bboy) doing the rest. Furthermore, the footage is of me and my crew dancing. I have been BBoying over 15 years, come from a World Champion Crew, Ground Zero est 1996, and have collectively traveled the globe, accumulated numerous titles, and inspired multitudes of dancers for over a decade. http://vimeo.com/26410712, groundzerocrew.com

    My drawings are totally crude, primitive, but I despise sloppiness. I am very adamant about a bold linear and graphic quality. These characters are super simple, and originally I had intended them to be animals, that were drawn in the style of a child. I am not your “Animator’s Animator”, not a Richard Williams’ apprentice, or a savvy “know every awesome Disney animator’s name” kind of artist. I struggled immensely through the grueling four years at SVA, was always the worst figure drawing student in every class, and couldn’t perspective draw my way out of a wet paper bag! There are many more qualified animators in the field that execute with great grace, draftsmen-ship, and naturalism, that I just don’t possess, and am little interested in… This film was my first, I am proud of it, and I gave it a lot of love. Thanks everybody, I really appreciate your time and ideas!

    This response looks more like a bio, but I couldn’t help but extrapolate and share my story with you alls!

    Godspeed!!

    Calin

  • Nigel

    Wacky colors and funny jokes I like to watch because I like it! Calin worked really hard and it came out great.

    Booyaka Booyaka

  • kevin

    This is great, no matter what you have people taking time out of their day to talk about your film. Hate or love it, you’ve got everybody’s attention. That’s a win in my book.

    smoothdust