Toons Bask at Palm Springs Fest

A number of animated quickies will screen as part of the 2005 Palm Springs Int’l Festival of Short Films, taking place Sept. 20-26 in Palm Springs, Calif. The lineup includes the Henry Selick-directed Laika flagship production, Moongirl, as well as award-winning entries such as John Cernak’s Joyride, Arthur de Pins’ The Crab Revolution and Damien Ferrié’s Overtime.

Joyride, an ode to the joys of bicycling set to Queen’s "My Bicycle", is scheduled to screen during the opening night International Award Winners program on Tuesday, Sept. 20, starting at 6:30 p.m. Attendees can then catch The Crab Revolution and Overtime on Wednesday, Sept. 21, during the Best of the Clermont Farrend Festival lineup. Revolution offers a rare look at the lives of Pachygrapsus Mormatus, commonly know as "depressed crabs," and Overtime is a tribute to the late Jim Henson that has ragdolls resembling Kermit the Frog trying to animate their dead creator back to life.

The Festival’s Animation Celebration will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 11:30 a.m. Films on the list include:

Bikini

Sweden, Lasse Persoson, 7 min.

A musical tale of a boy, his mother’s itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini, the beach and two muscle men.

Egg

U.S. Benh Zeitlin, 9 min.

This‘microscopic tale of epic cruelty, based on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, utilizes surrealistic stop-motion animation to tell the tale of a pint-sized pirate who combats a villainous egg yolk, with calamitous results.

Ichthys 

Poland, Marek Skrobecki, 17 min.

An imaginative big fish tale about a man who rows out to an island to enjoy a heavenly seafood meal at a very strange restaurant, and ends up "sleeping with the fishes."

The Mantis Parable

U.S., Josh Staub, 8 min.

Made by the creator of popular video games Myst and Ravens, this parable tells the story of a caterpillar trapped in a collector’s specimen jar, and the insects who come to his aid.

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello

Australia, Anthony Lucas, 27 min.

Based on the works of Jules Verne and Edgar Allen Poe, this silhouette animation piece has young Jasper joining a zeppelin expedition to find the cure for a mysterious disease plaguing the people of planet Earth.

Mural

Canada, Jose Luis Osorio, 3 min.

An artist haunted by the images of his own mind is the subject of the film’s inventive imagery.

Return I Will to Old Brazil  

U.S., Alex Budovsky, 4 min.   

A magical animated music journey to the tropical land of rhumba and rhythm, set to the syncopated strains of Geoff Muldaur and his orchestra. 

Surly Squirrel

Canada, Peter Lepeniotis, 11 min.

Follows the adventures of Surly Squirrel and his reticent sidekick the rat, as their plan to seize a leftover slice of pizza is disrupted by a flock of pigeons and an unexpected bank heist across the street from the park.

Seed

U.S., Bennett Cain, 7 min. 

A young boy discovers the horrifying secrets of a dark and mysterious room tucked away behind a door that rarely opens…

Other animated fare will screen during the "Films for Families" program on Saturday, Sept. 24, beginning at 12 p.m. The 97-minute program will include:

The Passionate Pest

U.S., Ryan Wick, 4 min.

In this animated romantic delight, a fly falls for the light of his life, a lightbulb, and uses a self-help book in an effort to win the affections of his potential mate.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

U.S., Michael Sporn, 10 min

An animated rendering of the 1974 tightrope walk of a Frenchman across a cable strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Smile

U.S., Chris Mais, 8 min.

Stop-motion and live-action techniques relate the story of a smiley face balloon and a rubber man who team up to outwit the wicked pirate toy they share their children’s playroom with.

The Bad Night Light

U.S., Shon Stewart, 4 min.

An animated fable in which a little boy who’s afraid of the dark comes to grip with his fears during a scary evening trapped in his room with things that go bump in the night.

The Gnat and the Lion

U.S., Burke Higgins, 4 min.

It’s the little things that hurt when you’re the King of the jungle, in this comedic computer-animated adaptation of the classic Aesop’s Fable.

Bibi

U.S., Bek Shakirov, 7 min.

An adventurous little girl gets into all kinds of trouble when she decides to explore the clothes and makeup in her mother’s room.

Moongirl

U.S. Henry Selick, 9 min. 

This CG adventure traces the trip of a young boy who hooks a starfish from his boat one night, and ends up on a fabulous journey to the moon.

More information on the Palm Springs Int’l Festival of Short Films can be found at www.psfilmfest.org.