I had a blast last night at the one-day World Animation Celebration in Hollywood where my girlfriend Yvette Kaplan was one of the judges of the competition. The event was short but sweet – produced by Animation Magazine and Animation Libation Studios and sponsored by The Los Angeles Film School, Toon Boom and Reel FX (among others) – an adjunct to this week’s World Animation and VFX Summit in Marina Del Rey.
The whole evening was worth it just to hear Disney Legend Floyd Norman give a speech about his career and give encouragement to young animators in the crowd. Floyd is a treasure and any opportunity to get his perspective on the industry and the art is always worth it.
Saw about 25 short films (though over 300 were entered and over 100 of those were screened yesterday) and all of them were good. No duds in the bunch. Two stood out for me and I want to give them – and their filmmakers – a shout out.
Guida by Rosana Urbes won the Festival Prize for “Traditional Animation” and deservedly so. This is a masterpiece of hand drawn animation (the trailer below does not do the film justice) about a middle aged woman getting a second chance to prove herself. Beautifully drawn, exquisitely told, Ms. Urbes is an artist to keep an eye on.
I was also enchanted with Wackatdooo by Benjamin Arcand. Those who know me know this is my kind of thing – a “retro-toon” that looks like it was made in 1957, on cels with a gorgeous thick ink line. A delirious dream of a musical film with a great sense of fun. The trailer and poster below only hint at the charm and appeal of the characters – and I urge you to seek this one out when it becomes available online. Wackatdooo was also a crowd funding success story – and bodes well for the kind of short we’ll be seeing made independently in the future.