Samurai Frog Golf Samurai Frog Golf

Canadian-born, Tokyo-based artist Brent Forrest’s Samurai Frog Golf recently landed on Youtube, after premiering last month at SIGGRAPH.

In the film, a retired frog samurai hits the links for a relaxing round of golf. Wanting little more than a relaxing day out, things quickly turn violent for the character when a recently hatched baby turtle falls under his care and into the gaze of a pack of hungry warrior-birds.

Samurai Frog Golf requires no dialogue to tell a story that is not only self-contained and well thought out, but proposes a much larger world and history that leaves us wanting to know more. It’s clear that our protagonist has led a life full of adventure. Visual cues like a missing leg and a scarred face offer a more direct look into the character’s past, but his demeanor, facial expressions, and exacerbated sighs offer equally as much insight into the psyche of our stoic hero.

Aesthetically, Samurai Frog Golf scores well below par (for non-golfers, that’s a good thing). Overly thick borders outline textured surfaces that provide a visual hyperbole so strong one can imagine what the clothes, skin, and feathers of the characters might feel like.

Samurai Frog Golf is produced by Japanese studio Marza Animation Planet, whose animation credits include Lupin III: The First and Sonic the Hedgehog. The short features two of Marza’s proprietary animation techniques, the Time Filter, which allows animators to manipulate time per object, and the Shape-Meshing system, a tool for turning hand-drawn animation into 3D objects. The film’s producers are currently seeking co-production partners to adapt Samurai Frog Golf as a long-form series, so there may be more amphibious sporting adventures on the horizon.

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