files/pictures/picture-35.jpgNexus Prods. has completed a series of animated short films for Animal Planet, Italy.
The films, written and directed by Bessy & Combe, Carolina Melis and Celyn, range from one to three minutes and feature a break dancing cat, a snake-impersonating giraffe and some stampeding mammoths.
The three episodes of MAGIC CAT, directed by Celyn, each tell a tale of a little boy, Paulo, and his sometimes surreal adventures with a mysteriously appearing cat who seems to be able to bend space and time at will.
The idea for Mr. Sock the Magic Cat came sometime ago from an unrelated project, comments Celyn. I was doing some sketches for a hair-brained idea based on aquatic animals. I drew a cat that would live underwater and his features are based on an old deep-sea diving bell. Essentially that is why Mr. Sock has this sort of big diving bell head and why the second episode takes place at sea. Ultimately I don't really know what the hell Mr. Sock is, a space cat or maybe a magic underwater cat? Perhaps Mr. Sock is a toy cat, thrown together from geometric shapes, a strange amalgam of leftover bits from wooden play sets? I like to keep it open so that children can work that out for themselves.
French directing duo Bessy & Combe created a TV talent show for their film AMICO, where three animals compete to be a little boys best friend by dancing, singing, and, in the case of Nicolo the octopus, playing every single instrument in a rock band simultaneously. Hosted by an incredibly enthusiastic presenter, but also featuring a canine Elvis impersonator, the film manages to conform to the talent show template whilst still existing in a world of its own.
In her three films, each under the title of WALK THIS WAY, Carolina Melis playfully explores movement with especially composed music accompanying her colorful designs.
One of the most incredible aspects about the animal world is how different and unique each animal is, she explains. When I was a child I had a book that had a series of illustrations showing a group of animals posing together as friends. I used to find these pictures as magical as I found them comical. One of the illustrations had an enormous giraffe next to a tiny bird and I used to wonder what it would like if I was the tiny bird and my friend was the giraffe.
In each film the different animals all walk along in a line taking turns to copy each others movements. Copying is one of the first games children understand as its fun and clever and, in the case of the films, is the way these animals become friends.
Chris OReilly, exec producer of Nexus, commented, These projects were a bit of a departure for Nexus as we rarely have produced animation so focused on a childrens audience. Everyone involved really enjoyed the process and were very proud of how all the films came out.
Nexus used Adobe AFX and Flash to create the films.
Client: Discovery Channel
Creative director: Federico Gaggio
Production manager: Rauf Bayraktar
Music composers: Dan Pugh
Production House: Nexus Prods.
Celyn MAGIC CAT
Producer: Luke Youngman
Compositing: Dylan White
2D Flash Animation: David Borrull, Dylan White
Carolina Melis WALK THIS WAY BIRD
2D animation Stu Doig
Music composers: Metronomy
Bessy & Combe AMICO
Animation supervisor/animation: Laurent Witz.
Animation: Jean-Christophe Craps.
Sound design: Luca Cepparo (Cinehollywood)
Animator voice: Francesco Cataldo
Nexus Prods. is an independent animation production company that produces films, TV series, commercials, music videos and title sequences. The company was founded in 1997 by Chris OReilly and Charlotte Bavasso. For more information, visit www.nexusproductions.com