The Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Invitational was quite a surprise for me. Animation is a very open technique; as in it allows for a lot of creative freedom for those who wish to put in the effort. That being said, I was expecting some profound and artistic pieces which I couldn’t imagine myself understanding in a million years.
However, the short films that the screening were down-to-earth and targeted towards the general audience. From comedy to drama, stop motion to CGI, the animation pieces they showed varied from a wide range of genres and styles. Yet, they never got too abstract so as to lose the audience. They made you forget that you were in a cinema and drew you into their world very quickly.
Some of the notable mentions were the opening three pieces.
Dahlilia was a strong opener and set the mood for the entire night really well. It’s interesting take on stop motion was refreshing and really got my attention. I appreciated how they animated still scenes by moving the camera around the event instead of vice versa.
Mork was a great follow up to Dahlilia with a slick and clean animation feel which made it a strong contender in the end.
Following Mork was Bottle, a heart-warming stop motion piece. The story was a bit drastic and you could see that they took some shortcuts in the animation. But the ending to the piece was phenomenal in terms of animation and story.
However, there were 3 great films at the event:
Bronze: Elite Fleet: The Broken Code – This film was hilarious! It’s been a while since I saw such original humor. The animation was great and fit the script and humor of the piece. The suspense was nicely built up to the fantastic punchline and had the entire audience roaring in laughter.
Silver: Something Left, Something Taken – This short film was focused on two travelers who had just arrived in San Francisco and found themselves in a stranger’s car home. The story was original and dynamic as it built up nicely throughout the film. However, it got a little predictable and the big revealing end wasn’t all that jaw-dropping. However, the animation in this piece was truly amazing and you could tell the amount of effort the makers put into the piece. The artwork when they were showing the scenery of San Francisco, the jungle and the suburbs was incredible and full of creativity.
Gold: Accumulomnibus – By far my favorite mainly because it was so different and new. I liked it because it was just pure imagination and didn’t use a plot or story to drive it forward. It synced well with the music however, if there is one thing wrong with the movie, it would be that the style of music didn’t quite fit the nature of the film. Nonetheless, it was a pleasant experience to watch. It sucks you into it’s ‘ball’ almost instantly and doesn’t let go until the very end. I was always anxious to see what came next but didn’t want to miss out on a single frame in the process.
However, the entire screening was great; every piece contributed to the event. The comical pieces were hilarious and the artistic ones were beautiful which made the entire experience a fun ride.