Web Toons You Need To See 2010
Combining photos and CG animation with 2D computer animation, this haunting coming of age tale has a lasting affect on the viewer. It delicately handles its story of a young man coming to terms with his sexuality. With its deliberate pacing, the film captures the hold that puberty has on the minds of young people, as well as the uneasiness that it creates. Shishido goes for a realistic feel in both his visuals and soundtrack that compliments his narrative perfectly. The film proves that animation is simply a filmmaking technique and is open for any kind of story.
This gorgeous looking paint on glass and cel short is beautifully animated and richly executed. In under five-minutes, Wagner builds her narrative by stacking scene after scene with new reveals. Without any dialog, she tells a fable full of story detail and magic. Yuri Norstein once said that poetry is found in subtlety and that's exactly what this film proves. While there is a story being told, like experimental animation, this film can be appreciated as dance as well.
Bollinger submitted several episodes of his Pencilmation series in 2009, but none of them made me laugh harder than this one. For all intents and purposes, it's just a series of gags strung together. The brilliance of it all is how Bollinger flows so effortlessly from one to the next and builds from one to the next. From the rockin' midi music to simple character design, this cartoon proves the adage that less is more. He also proves that great animation acting doesn't need complex character designs. Great timing and excellent key frames are what's essential.
This ingenious stop-motion short is the story of "a stalwart cupcake [who] yearns for something beyond his world of sugar cube skyscrapers and frosting-covered friends." To call this short sweet might sound corny, but that's exactly what it is. Lepore takes her premise of a sugar world and vegetable world to its fullest extent, but never allows the conceit to override the narrative. This is a perfect example of style and narrative working hand and hand. In a subtle way, the film says something important about our fast food society, as well as our diets.
So why did I place this film at #1 -- Because it had the most lasting impression on me. The surreal nature of the narrative highlights the freedom of animation to work outside the box. This story could not work in live-action. Ferguson understands his characters and human nature then twists it in a hilarious way. The look is a simple flat retro design style and the animation is limited, but timed subtly. Its pure sense of invention makes it surprising every step of the way. While it might seem random, every element of the quick story is planned out perfectly.
Rick DeMott is the director of content for Animation World Network, VFXWorld and AWNtv. Additionally, he's the creator of the movie review site, Rick's Flicks Picks, which was recently named one of the 100 best movie blogs by The Daily Reviewer. He has written for TV series, such as Discovery Kids' Growing Up Creepie and Cartoon Network's Pet Alien, the animation history book Animation Art, and the humor, absurdist and surrealist website Unloosen. Previously, he held various production and management positions in the entertainment industry.