Snotty Boy Snotty Boy

Sometimes you don’t realize how much everything looks the same until you see something that looks truly different.

That’s the feeling I get from watching the trailer for Snotty Boy, a new co-production from Austria and Germany that will premiere in competition next week at Annecy:

The designs verge on the grotesque, but so do real people. We’re so accustomed to generic cartoon symbols of humans in cg animation that it can be jarring to see animated figures who look like caricatures of actual people. The filmmakers didn’t have to develop the style from scratch: the designs are based on the work of Austrian cartoonist Manfred Deix (1949-2016), whose life story also inspired the film’s plot:

In 1960s Siegheilkirchen, a small town in the Austrian hinterland that is steeped in reactionary, ultra-Catholic attitudes, the son of a hard-working innkeeper – known as Snotty Boy to all and sundry – is at odds with the narrow-minded confines of his home town. But his unstoppable talent for drawing gives him an outlet for his discontent as well as entertaining his school mates and exposing the town’s bigwigs in all their ridiculousness to a collective orgy of unashamed laughter, thus saving his beloved, the ravishingly pretty Mariolina, from malicious persecution by a handful of political die-hards.

Snotty Boy is directed by live-action filmmaker Marcus Rosenmüller (The Keeper, Grave Decisions) and veteran animator Santiago Lopez Jover (animation supe, Talking Tom and Friends). Josef Aichholzer, who produced the best foreign-language Oscar-winner The Counterfeiters, is the film’s producer.

Picture Tree International has world sales rights to the film and is shopping it around. No U.S. distributor has been announced yet.

Following its Annecy debut, the film will next screen as the closing night film of the Munich Film Festival. The film has late summer theatrical releases slated for Austria (through Filmladen) and Germany (Pandora Film).

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