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Sierra Sierra

Sander Joon’s Sierra was one of 2022’s standout animated shorts, and it’s now available to watch for free online.

Containing segments of his father’s first (and last) stop-motion short from 1980, Sierra is a playful father/son race car adventure told with Joon’s signature absurdity. Its heartfelt family core offers deep laughs and sentimental moments, executed with a generous amount of turbulent and frantic movement. This is Joon’s fourth short, and it demonstrates a clear growth and evolution that can be tracked across his oeuvre.

Visually, the film boasts stylish surrealism splattered with a calming palette. Bumpy camera movements, quick cuts, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them shapes flying across the screen help create an adrenaline-pumping sensation in the viewer that is as much fun as watching an actual race.

Sierra had an incredible lap around the festival circuit last year, screening at events including Clermon-Ferrand, GLAS (audience award), Palm Springs (Best of the Festival), Fantoche (New Talent), Ottawa (Public Prize), and Tallinn Black Nights (jury mention). It was also shortlisted for the 2023 Oscars animated short race.

In November of last year, Joon spoke with us about the semi-autobiographical story behind Sierra.

Director: Sander Joon
Writer: Sander Joon
Production: BOP Animation
Music: Misha Panfilov
Animation: Teresa Baroet, Sander Joon, Valya Paneva, Henri Veermäe

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Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.