The Nicktoons Film Festival Announces:

Screening 7–"Of Monsters and Machines"

The Nicktoons Film Festival continues this Sunday with Screening 7, a selection of six shorts made by animators from around the globe. A co-production of Frederator Studios and Animation Magazine for Nicktoons, The Nicktoons Film Festival airs on the Nicktoons cable channel Sunday nights 10 p.m (EST) and 7 p.m. (PST), with a repeat at 1 p.m. (EST) and 10 p.m. (PST). The films featured in Screening Number 7–are Welcome to My Life by Elizabeth Ito of Glendale, Calif.; Kactus Kid from Lancast Mota Dos Santos and Renato Canini of Brazil; Robot Family: The Slick Salesman by Chris Harding of Prairie Village, Kansas; Wingnut from Conrad Chu of Alameda, Calif.; Medusa by Pierce Davison of Australia; and Martini and Meatballs: Avery’s Game by Mike Csunyoscka of Canada’s Nelvana.

The Nicktoons Film Festival:

Screening 7—"Of Monsters and Machines"

Airdate & Time: December 5, 2004, 10 p.m. (EST); 7 p.m. (PST), Nicktoons

Film #1: Welcome to My Life (Length: 4:42; hand-drawn 2D)—This black-and-white mocumentary taks a hilarious look inside the lives of monsters living among us. Viewers learn that though these creatures may look different, they are really no different from the rest of us. Pleasantly reminiscent of Aardman’s classic clay animation short, Creature Comforts, Welcome to My Life won the Peer’s Pick at CalArts and was an official selection of the San Diego Asian American Film Festival. (Contact Elizabeth Ito at [email protected].)

Film #2: Kactus Kid (Length: 7:00; Flash and Traditional 2D)—Brazilian filmmakers Lancast Mota Dos Santos and Renato Canini take us way back with this cowboy yarn set in Idle Ville, "the least known city in the west." There we find Jack Wondertaker, the peace-loving undertaker who mounts his valiant horse, Twister, to fight for truth and justice as his alter ego, the Kactus Kid. When a mysterious, gun-toting stranger arrives in town, our hero fears that he may be an assassin who has come to put an end to Kactus Kid. Fans of old UPA cartoons should get a kick out of this English-subtitled short featuring humorous commercial brakes for such products as Wells Fargo delivery, Dust Storm powered milk and Scalpex hair tonic. (Contact Lancast Mota Dos Santos and Renato Canini by e-mailing Denise Ehlersat [email protected].)

Film #3: Robot Family: The Slick Salesman (Length: 2:15; Digital 2D)—We all know the feeling. You sit down to have dinner with the family when the phone rings. "Could be important," you say to yourself, only to find yourself being chatted up by a slick telemarketer who won’t take "sorry, we’re not interested" for an answer. Apparently, even metal automatons have this problem. Filmmaker Chris Harding uses simple visuals and pitch-perfect acting to put a hilarious twist on this common annoyance.

Film #4: Wingnut (Length: 2:45; 3D CG)—Conrad Chu uses beautifully rendered 3D images and haunting music to tell the story of a lonely robot who finds that his squeaky joints can be an asset when it comes to making new friends. The short won the Academy of Art University Spring Show Animation Award for special achievement in 2004. (Contact Conrad Chu at [email protected].)

Film #5: Medusa: Pilot (Length: 3:00; Stop-motion animation)—This first installment in a 13-part series for SBS Television in Australia shows how difficult it is to be a mythological character in modern times. Needless to say, dating can be a pain for the snake-haired Medusa. Will the bloke take one look at her and turn to run, or will he turn to stone? A former ABC Young Filmmaker of the year, Davison founded Davison Bros. Prods. with his brother, Seymour. They say they are currently working out how to animate an octopus knotting gloves, just for fun. Also in the pipeline are various dramas and animations about mathematics, propaganda and Ho Chi Minh. (Contact producer Jacob F. Jord at [email protected].)

Film #6: Martini and Meatballs: Avery’s Game (Length: 5:00; Flash)—A unique 2D visual style marks this funny and action-packed installment from Canadian toon house Nelvana. Our canine heroes think they’re quite clever when they build a giant gorilla robot, but things get out of control when a video game console falls into the beast’s brain and sends it rampaging across the city and toward a nuclear power plant. Can the gang stop it in time, or is it game over for everyone within a 200-mile radius? Tune in and find out. (For more information, Hally Butera a line at [email protected].)