Blush Blush

Welcome to Cartoon Brew’s relaunched podcast, hosted by me, Cole Delaney. In each episode, I’ll revisit some of the month’s most interesting stories in the animation world, as covered on this website. I’ll speak to artists and filmmakers about their work, from the great themes that inspire them to the tools and materials they use day to day. My colleagues here at Cartoon Brew will sometimes join me to dig deep into industry trends.

Listen to the latest episode below:

In this episode, I interview Joe Mateo, director of the Oscar-qualified Skydance Animation short film Blush, which is now available on Apple TV+. The story stems from Mateo’s personal experience of loss, and the way he turned this into art is a focal point of our conversation. The film’s message is clear: surrounding yourself with people you love and trust is the only way to get through these difficult moments.

I also take a close look at Netflix’s Robin Robin, a film directed by Mikey Please and Dan Ojari and produced at Aardman (Wallace & Gromit). What stands out to me is how the directors, who spoke to us this month, break with the visual and narrative style of Aardman’s previous work by creating a Christmas-themed musical short with needle-felt puppets.

When it comes to passion projects, it’s hard to discount the film that has spent longest in production of any animated feature: Yuri Norstein’s The Overcoat. The director has been working on the feature for 40 years with his wife and creative collaborator Francheska Yarbusova, yet they’ve only produced 25 minutes of footage — just over half a minute per year, on average. This month, we covered a video essay by Youtube channel Atrocity Guide about Norstein’s work, particularly this slow-churning behemoth. I run through the reasons why the project is taking so long.

This level of focus and obsession gets me thinking about the effect animation production has on staff. Mental health in the animation industry is a topic that is coming out of the shadows, thanks to artists like Charlie Gavin, who uses his Instagram comics to catalogue his thoughts and emotions as he moves through the industry. He elaborates on these in a great interview here on Cartoon Brew. I reflect on the importance of talking about these matters openly.

I hope you enjoy the podcast in its new format. If you have any feedback, let us know in a comment below.

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