The Nicktoons Film Festival Announces

Screening: 11–The "Gulp!" Show

The Nicktoons Film Festival continues this Sunday, with Screening: 11–a selection of seven shorts that deal with the totally cartoon sound that describes exactly how we feel the moment before the anvil falls–Gulp! A co-production of Frederator Studios and Animation Magazine for Nicktoons, The Nicktoons Film Festival airs on the Nicktoons cable channel Sunday nights 10:00 p.m (EST) and 7:00 p.m. (PST), with a repeat at 1:00 p.m. (EST) and 10:00 p.m. (PST). The films featured in Screening Number: 11–The "Gulp!" Show are: Pigly from French filmmakers Philippe Tailliez and Sandrine Auvertin; Much Ado About Ice Cream from CalArts grad Adrian Molina; Shlub from feature film and TV development guru Guy Vasilovich; Polygon Family 2 from Tokyo-based animation house Polygon Pictures; The Appointment from Canadian filmmaker Kyle Marshall; Magical Trevor from British animator J. Picking, a.k.a. Weebl; and Nagymamma from filmmaker Stephanie Yuhas.

The Nicktoons Film Festival:

Screening: 11–The "Gulp!" Show

Airdate & Time: January 2, 2004, 10:00 p.m. (EST); 7:00 p.m. (PST), Nicktoons

Film #1: Pigly (Length: 7:00; 3D animation completed with Alias’ Maya software)–Philippe Tailliez and Sandrine Auvertin met ten years ago in Belgium where they were studying CG animation, and they’ve been animating together ever since. In France they have worked on several TV shows including Donkey Kong Country and Insektors. Between paying gigs they created their own cartoon about a slaughterhouse escapee–one cute and feisty little pig–who hides out in a supermarket but gets busted by a robot police dog. Both artists explain that they came up with the wacky idea after watching small birds stuck in the rafters of grocery stores and living off whatever they could steal. (You can find out more about this short and the animators by visiting http://pigly.free.fr/)

Film #2: Much Ado About Ice Cream (Length: 1:30; 2D animation)–What could be more painful than young love? We like Adrian Molina’s short because of the character designs and classic animation. We also like the topic, even if it does remind of us of former indignities. But Molina explains it best: "My film was just the development of some funny ideas I sketched out one day. What would happen if a chubby kid had to choose between his favorite treat and making a new friend? The film briefly touches on some deep philosophical themes like cooties and the ten-second-rule, but ultimately, it's a testament to my belief that nice guys don't always finish last." (To reach Adrian Molina, e-mail [email protected].)

Film #3: Shlub (Length: 4:00; 2D animated)– Guy Vasilovich has had his fingers in a lot of animation pies. He’s helped to develop and run big features like The Great Mouse Detective, The Fox and the Hound, Oliver and Company and Beauty and the Beast and TV shows like Family Dog and Mighty Max. Here’s what he has to say about his cartoon, Shlub, produced by Film Roman. "The idea of a boy made from stuff came to me while watching a chili cook-off on cable one dark and stormy night. The way they were preparing their recipes sounded and resembled a surgical operation. I thought, ‘Wouldn't it be fun if you could create your own kid the same way?’ I told you it was a scary night. The rocket scientists came from my days of building, flying and crashing my own model rockets and Benny, his alter ego, from sitting in Los Angeles traffic too long. It's kind of a modern Frankenstein story without the bolts." (If you want to contact Guy Vasilovich, you can e-mail him at [email protected])

Film #4: Polygon Family 2 (Length: 3:05; 3D animation completed with Alias’ Maya software)–If you’re a computer animator and attend the yearly convention on graphics called SIGGRAPH, then you’re definitely a huge fan of Polygon Family 1 & 2. During the convention’s own festival screenings, called The Electronic Theater, these shorts have brought down the house. For its deceptively refined designs, spot-on animation direction and drop-dead funny story, we’re honored to be running Polygon Family 2 from Tokyo animation house, Polygon Pictures. Explains director Hiroshi Chida, "I've been experimenting with limited animation in CG for a couple of years. With Polygon Family, I tried to convey as much emotion and humor as possible using rough polygon character models, and very limited animation. You can say this is my antithesis to the richly textured, photorealistic CG imagery prevalent today." (To learn more about Hiroshi Chida or Polygon Pictures go to www.ppi.co.jp)

Film #5: The Appointment (Length: 3:40; 2D animation with digital color) Kyle Marshall, an animation student at the Heinze Institute in Canada, completed The Appointment as his thesis project. We like it because it’s how we all feel when sitting in any waiting room–waiting for the worst! Says Marshall, "I have always enjoyed the simple story concept of taking an ordinary person and putting him in an extraordinary circumstance. While trying desperately to come up with a story idea for my third-year film, I found my ordinary self in a dental room awaiting the extraordinary events which come with a dental appointment. I then figured it may be a funny idea for a short film, especially if the dentist knows nothing about dentistry. One year, and three teeth later, The Appointment was completed." See? Art is pain! (Feel free to e-mail Kyle Marshall at [email protected])

Film #6: Magical Trevor (Length: 2:18, 2D animation)–Okay, we offered this same warning when J. Picking’s other selected short, Kenya, ran two weeks ago, but it applies to Magical Trevor as well. If you’re at all susceptible to a catchy tune, don’t watch this short! One of our fave filmmakers, Mr. J. Picking (a.k.a. Weebl), made this oddball piece, we suspect, to make us question the universe and all happenings therein. Are cows really that connected to beans? You be the judge. (Check out Weebl’s well-visited cartoon site for more shorts, including an offer for the new DVD of the shorts series that aired on MTV-UK called Weebl & Bob. www.weebls-stuff.com.)

Film #7: Nagymamma (Length: 4:40; Traditional animation)–We all have an overprotective relative, but we hope not one as obsessive as filmmaker Stephanie Yuhas’ Hungarian grandmother. According to Yuhas, Nagymamma is the true story of her grandmother, Carolina Serester, and how she brought some rather intense old world traditions with her when she immigrated to the United States. This is Yuhas’ second animated film. Her first was called Gestation Sensation and dealt with the fact that in the world of seahorses, the dads are really the moms. (If you’d like to contact Stephanie Yuhas you can reach her at [email protected].)