This was the Children’s Programme toured from the London International Animation Festival screened at the Hyde Park Picture House. A rather nice idea, a set of films suitable for all the family. That is what we got at the Picture House, and [with a few minor wanderings] the kids and their parents seemed to really enjoy the selection. I gathered from the projectionist that the programme was provided on a disc and then the staff copied this to a DCP: one would have hoped that an International Festival could mange to use a theatrical format for this. Still it was an entertaining selection of varied animation films from a number of different countries.
Simon’s Cat: Pizzacat (2015), 1’50
A hungry cat gets the last slice. This was the first of two ‘cat cartoons’. From the credits it seems that this character appears both on film and in books: I suspect the latter was the earlier appearance. The films are drawn in black and white lines. The cat is typical of its kind:. clever and self-contained, usually battling with his owner: in this case over a pizza. The second example – Box Clever. In this case a regular character, the neighbouring boxer/bulldog, assists the cat caught in a cone guard.
You can check out episodes and creator Simon Tofield’s techniques at https://simonscat.com/about/
Perfect Houseguest (2015), 1’35
A house is visited by a clean, organised and well-mannered guest. The film from the USA uses models, the houseguest being a domesticated mouse who makes the house ordered and shipshape.
Rita and Crocodile – Fishing (2014) , 5’00
Rita and Crocodile are going fishing and Rita lectures Crocodile on how to fish.
We also had a second film in which Rita & her Crocodile visit the Forest in search of conkers. The Crocodile is extremely affable, far removed from the threatening beasts common on screen. The films, produced by Ladybird, are from Denmark, but this was an English-language version.
Submarine Sandwich (2014), 2’00
The first step to a delicious sandwich is slicing the meat. Only in this case what the film animates is a set of food substitutes: balls, gloves, medallions and so on. This is a new stop-motion film from the director of Fresh Guacamole (PES, USA 2012), the latter had the status of shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar.
With Different Eyes (2015), 4’10
A trip around the world on a wooden train set. This film is almost abstract, playing with sets of mecano-type-like parts. There is also a song, translated via subtitles.
Boom Boom The Fisherman’s Daughter (2013), 8’25
A lonely fisherman with a long nose befriends an orphaned baby elephant who believes that the man is its mother. This was beautifully drawn though the plot was rather opaque. The relationships between characters are very nicely done.
A Single Life (2014), 2’20
A life can be lived, measured and manipulated in so many different ways but beware the cracks and the sudden endings. The ingenious story here offers a series of transformations, which also take us through the cycle of life and death. This Dutch film makes ingenious use of an usual prop, an old 45 rpm vinyl record.
Airmail (2014), 6’10
A fish, a cat, a wrestler and the woman who would save them all. Unusual ingredients for an unlikely long distance love affair. The title and the style of this film suggest homage to Len Lye. There continuity is tied together by the continuing efforts of a cat to catch a goldfish.
Taipei Recyclers (2014), 7’00
A riot of sound and colour using trash collected from the streets of Taipei. The film uses all the possible detritus from its setting, a rather abstract presentations.
Very Lonely Cock (2015), 6’00
It’s a hard day for the very lonely cock. Perhaps tomorrow it’ll be better. Who knows? Anyway, it can’t get any worse. Or can it? Bizarre but entertaining Russian film with no dialogue. The film is almost surrealist in its antics and humour.
Sweet Dreams (2015), 11’45
A coincidental meeting of a house hamster and a pair of squirrels. It took me time to identify one animal as a hamster. Their relationships are built on accords, though winter and into spring.
Some of the films are featured on YouTube.
Rita and Crocodile – Submarine Sandwich by PES – A Single Life