Sunday, April 18, 2010

2009 - LOGORAMA, 1937 - THE OLD MILL, 1933 - A NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN, three animated shorts

Three animated shorts made in three different styles.

Logorama is now up on YouTube.  It won a lot of awards and it's well made and clever.  Logorama takes all of the American advertising logos the filmmakers can think of and sticks them into a fast moving story about master criminal Ronald McDonald running amock.  I thought the whole was a little to slick.

This short was made by some French guys, and exactly why they felt they had to pick apart American advertising is a puzzle to me.  I find it hard to believe that Europeans aren't equally saturated with enough of their own advertising logos to satirize. 

The Old Mill is one of those Disney animated shorts that is easy to make fun of.  It has the usual bunch of frolicking cute Disney types of animals.   Probably more important as an example of the Disney animators and artists refining their skills with short cartoons before they transitioned into their 1940's features.  This cartoon looks great, with very careful attention paid to the color and the Disney artists getting more skilled with their multi-plane camera which created a pseudo 3D effect. 

Probably the outstanding animated short I viewed this weekend was A Night On Bald Mountain, animated by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker.  Their amazing animation technique was called the pinscreen.  This demanding setup was literally a board full of about one million pins that were pushed in an out to create images with varying degrees of black and white contrast.  A Night On Bald Mountain took two years to complete

Alexeieff and Parker were artists in the pure sense.  With the exception of their commercials, all of their films were made only for themselves.  A Night On Bare Mountain is a very impressive "artistic achievement" in the best understanding of that over worked phrase.  Probably one of the best animated short films I have seen in a while.

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