Barber Westchester Barber Westchester

American animator Jonni Phillips has uploaded a polished, updated, theatrical cut of her standout animated feature Barber Westchester to Youtube, where it’s currently free to stream. An eccentric, sometimes off-the-rails trip, the introspective feature is a must-watch for any fan of independent animation.

Barber Westchester is the titular protagonist of the film and an up-and-coming astronomer who is trying to ignore everything happening in their life. When they’re offered an internship at NASA, ignoring things becomes difficult, if not impossible, so Barber must become a somewhat well-adjusted person instead.

The film screened at several major international festivals including the Ottawa Int’l Animation Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and the New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival where it scored a special jury award. According to the jury:

This movie fully embodies the meaning, power, and possibilities of the technique of animation. All the visuals are carefully calculated, and if you underestimate them, it delivers a strong punch. Its unique style was derived to strike the times more strongly, and its drawn lines are cute but are actually frighteningly delicate.

Describing her method, Phillips told Cartoon Brew earlier this year:

I try and capture certain emotions or certain points in my life and make a world that is made out of those things […] informed by how things feel rather than what they are. They’re also cartoons, that’s a thing.

Phillips is now working on season two of Secrets and Lies in a Town of Sinners, a 10-episode series that picks up where Barber Westchester ends, so be sure to keep an eye out. Phillips is also planning a new animated feature titled The Cone Layer, which she describes as “the grand finale.”

Jamie Lang

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