Sheridan Animation alumni Jennifer Wu has posted her 2023 thesis film Mission Popo to Youtube, and it’s a thrilling watch.
In the three-minute short, a grandma rides her macaroni penguin bike through a sci-fi city on a mission to bring dinner home for her family. According to Wu, the story was inspired by two things, the incredible journeys of the Macaroni penguins – which often migrate more than 6,200 miles after each summer breeding season – and her “grandmother’s powerful love language: food.”
The animation in Mission Popo is sharp and well-executed, with a 2d aesthetic that gives it an anime-like feel. Crisp camera movements heighten the sense of danger in an adrenaline-filled chase scene (whose idea was it to put a jetpack on a sea monster?) which culminates in an explosive climax.
The film’s sound design – done by Francesco Rignanese, score – by Gisula, and color scheme all hit the right notes for the sci-fi genre. The film feels familiar, without feeling derivative. We can’t wait to see what Wu does next.
For some great BTS artwork, check out Wu’s portfolio and Instagram page: