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Blue Zoo Unleashes Comedy Mayhem with New Holiday Short

Directed by Will Cook, ‘Christmas with The Moonies’ employs real-time rendering using Unreal Engine.

U.K. animation studio Blue Zoo add their comedic stamp to the festive season with the release of their latest Christmas short, starring merciless duo The Moonies. When an evening of festivities goes very wrong, The Moonies try to hide any wrongdoing in an unexpected way. Little do they know who they’re up against.

Blue Zoo’s company-wide shorts program is renowned for its output of award-winning shorts that push creative boundaries, allow experimentation and are truly collaborative in process. Individuals have the opportunity to pitch their idea to the studio and the studio votes the most popular idea into production.

“We embrace making in-house short films to push creative and technical experimentation and cross-company collaboration within our studio, whilst having a lot of silly fun, which very much reflects what Blue Zoo is all about!” said Blue Zoo co-founder & shorts producer Tom Box.

This year the collaborative nature of the project went one step further and people were invited to suggest ideas that would make up a sequence of events core to the story. In drastic contrast to 2017’s heartwarming Lynx & Birds, Christmas with The Moonies is a comedy with a dark side, and viewers are left wondering what happened next.

Directed by Will Cook, who can usually be found working on educational preschool shows, the story follows the cheery Moonies driving to a Christmas party, happily singing carpool karaoke-style, when they hit something/someone in the road. When they realize who they’ve hit, panic sets in and their dark side descends. How to dispose of the evidence? In a series of grisly ideas thought up by resourceful Blue Zooers, that’s how!

“I’m well happy how Christmas with The Moonies came out,” Cook said. “The characters have this really shady vibe, and the balance of comedy and gruesomeness is spot on - many of the ideas were crowdsourced which shows what a warped sense of humor we have here! And all the gross scenes are hilariously juxtaposed with a jaunty, Christmas soundtrack, which is perfect. Worlds apart from the preschool shows I’m usually animating!”

Christmas with The Moonies was turned around in an astonishing six weeks. This is thanks in part to real-time rendering using Unreal Engine and Alembic pipeline which allows more complicated rigs to be used in real-time, without interfering with the creative vision.

Source: Blue Zoo Animation

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.

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