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EIFF 2015: McLaren Award: New British Animation 2

// Reviews, Uncategorised (Festival, Film)

The second McLaren screening showcased as superb a standard of British animation as the first strand did. It is incredible to see the variety of work on display here from students, professionals and people who just animate for themselves and reassuring to see through the McLaren strands that animation is alive and well in the UK. It was again down to the fantastic programming that this intense variety of films were again made so accessible to the audience and fit together in a programme that included so many different genres.

Infinity Project
Dir. Will Anderson

Will Anderson tugs at your heart strings and tickles your funny bone in this spoof advert for a charity. Stop laughing at the Balloon making farty noises, this is deadly serious – indie animators need cash!

You Could Sunbathe In This Storm
Dir. Alice Dunseath

Ceramic objects, waltz their way around the screen, crystallising, changing shape and colour as the dance continues. This is very much an artists film but don’t hold that against it, it’s alright really.

Dir. Rhiannon Evans

We all have that light bulb moment when a good idea comes into our heads, Rhiannon Evans film seems based on that very thought as we follow a lonely light bulb wandering in search of a location where it can serve its purpose. The stylistic decisions such as designing the set as an industrious maze instead of a fleshy lump of grey matter make this film a unique treat.

Once Upon A Blue Moon
Dir. Steve Boot

There is a lovely hand made feel to the characters and the sets that make the film feel like it could have been shot on a kitchen table. This comedy caper about a lonely alien meeting a robot with a clear sense of duty looks and feels like a piece of children’s television and is full of the same stop motion charm that you might expect from such work.

Dir. Debanjan Nandy

A mourning husband remembers his departed wife with the help of a flame that casts a comforting shadow over the widower who soon has to come to terms with his loss as another disaster strikes. The film mixes model backgrounds and CG character environments. The animation and expressions of the characters are excellent but there is still a lingering problem with the use a well textured but altogether smooth CG character in such a tangible background. I’d have preferred one or the other – go hand made stop motion or go full CG.

Lost Sands
Dir. Aaron Babla

An adventurer finishes his long lost fathers treasure quest. Even though this well designed film has a short length it still seems quite long and formulaic, but the twist ending might be enough to leave you wanting more.


Mr Director
Dir. Andy Martin

The stop motion story charting the career of a director with a genius and ego that spans decades. The mocumentary tale is told just for laughs with lots of hilarious detail in every frame and plenty of film references that contribute to this nicely done comedy. This is a colourful film that wears its comedy heart on its sleeve and is just plain fun to watch.

Super Turbo Atomic Ninja Rabbit
Dir. Wesley Louis

Fans of Bucky O’Hare, He-Man, TMNT and Thundercats will instantly recognise the faithfully reproduced clichés of this lovingly made spoof title sequence from The Line. We saw a cleanup up version in the screening, but check out the debate raging on YouTube to wether the film is authentic or not!

The Evening Her Mind Jumped Out of Her Head
Dirs. Kim Noce, Shaun Clark

A train full of people minding their own business come together to create a humdrum cholrus that causes cranium busting adventure for a brain that yearns for freedom and adventure. Like the train in the film, this one takes a while to get going but is an entertaining watch.

Dir. Ross Hogg

Ross Hogg subverts your expectations of a scratch film. The audible pips, cracks and pops soon assemble into a toe tapping beat as the screen bursts into colour that breaks the traditional parameters of this type of film making both creatively and within a timeframe where it does not overstay its warm welcome.

Everyone Is Waiting for Something To Happen
Dir. Emma Calder

The Facebook and Twitter history of a stranger is narrated by someone furious at his jovial, provocative comments. The attention turns to the joker himself as he contracts cancer and his usual postings take a different turn which he then narrates himself. Unfortunately the title predicts the reaction of the audience (or at least this audience member) as the film doesn’t really have a solid enough conclusion and leads seemingly to nothing.

Unhappy Happy
Dir. Peter Millard

Another burst of absurdness from Peter Millard. Millard is a master of timing as he manipulates the audience into thinking the film has stuck on numerous occasions before, right at the second you turn around to check, the film laughs at your panic and continues on warbling its complete madness in your face. Is there something wrong with the projector? Is there something wrong with the sound? Is there something wrong with the animator? Nope, it all seems to be working perfectly well to me. This film has to be experienced to be believed.

Loop Ring Chop Drink
Dir. Nicolas Menard

Four flat dwelling misfits effect one another indirectly as their addictions and quirks lead their lives. The style of this film is superb, the bold colours and lino print style are a great match for this stylish story that isn’t afraid to have a bit of fun.

Pombo Loves You
Dir. Steve Warne

A deadbeat divorcee dad is haunted by his past starring role as a beloved TV character. As his insecurities get the better of him, they manifest themselves as the character who returns to the fathers life to torment him and his daughter. This stop motion film is superbly animated and is rich with background detail that adds so much depth to this well written drama.

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Lewis Heriz
@themooks @skwigly Yeah! That's when it becomes << actual magic >>
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James Howard
@lewisheriz @skwigly That first time you see it move is such a buzz and then you add sound and it just enters a whole new stratosphere.
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Lewis Heriz
@themooks @skwigly I know it's kind of obvious, but I used to see it as 'important but secondary'. I don't see it as secondary any more.
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James Howard
@lewisheriz @skwigly Sound does bring it to life.
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