A couple years back, Montreal-based animator Malcolm Sutherland picked up a copy of my book Cartoon Modern at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. He wrote to tell me that, “A year or so later it inspired a short film as a present to my mom for Christmas, called Great Ambition.” The short is based on a vintage recording called “The Arizona Yodeler” performed by the DeZurik Sisters (aka the Cackle Sisters), and it’s a lovely example of how to capture the spirit of stylized Fifties animation using contemporary production tools:

Sutherland just completed a short called The Astronomer’s Dream, which is in a different style that is more lush and illustrative. A description of the film: “When a hungry astronomer falls asleep while working on a problem, he discovers a solution not in outer space, but in the surreal food-chain of his subconscious mind.” Viewers who enjoy the film below can purchase a DVD of ten of his animated shorts plus bonus materials, directly from his website.

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