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This morning animation legend Richard Williams (The Thief and the Cobbler, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) released the first look at his new six-minute animated short Prologue. The film, which debuted at Annecy in June, is a feat of animation mastery; as he has done throughout his illustrious career, Williams pushes the craft in directions that few others dare to venture.

In the preview below, Williams explains the impetus for Prologue, interspersed with snippets from the finished film:

Conceived as part of a larger project that Williams jokingly refers to as, “Will I live to finish this?,” Prologue depicts Spartan and Athenian warriors locked in a gory battle to the death.

The film’s U.S. premiere took place this weekend at the Telluride Film Festival. Prologue will have its Academy qualification run beginning Friday, September 11, at Laemmle’s Royal Theatre in Los Angeles. Times for the matinee screenings have not been announced yet.

Also of note, on Wednesday, September 9th, Imogen Sutton, the producer of Williams’ latest film (not to mention his wife), will be speaking at a Women in Animation event in Burbank. More details about how to attend the event can be found on the WIA website.

Click below for a hi-res version of the film’s poster, provided to Cartoon Brew by Richard Williams:

Prologue Poster

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