The Nicktoons Film Festival continues this Sunday with Screening 9, a selection of seven shorts that will put a little magic back in your life–especially during this stressful season! A co-production of Frederator Studios and Animation Magazine for Nicktoons, The Nicktoons Film Festival airs on the Nicktoons cable channel Sunday nights at 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 9–The "Magic In Small Things" Show are: The Turn-Off by Holly Klein, a director with credits on Blue’s Clues and Little Bill; It’s My Turn from CalArts grad Hwang Nguyen; Kenya from U.K. animator Jonti Picking, creator of the ultra-popular shorts series Weebl & Bob; Coolman! Deep Sea Blues from Nelvana filmmakers Arna Selznick and John Van Bruggen; Haina: A Concert from Brazilian artist Arnaldo Galvao; Gumbuster from Icelandic filmmaker Hrefna Bragadottir; and a set of Ape Escape shorties from director Yorifusa Yamaguchi, Shogakukan Music & Digital Entertainment and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
The Nicktoons Film Festival:
Screening 9–The "Magic In Small Things" Show
Airdate and Time: Dec. 19, 2004, 10 p.m. (EST); 7 p.m. (PST), Nicktoons
Film #1: The Turn-Off (Length: 6:10; 2D cutout animation with a 3D character)–Obsessed with TV? Oh…right…you’re watching our show aren’t you? Well, you probably don’t have it as bad as filmmaker Holly Klein. "The Turn-Off," she explains, "is based on me, and how I grew up constantly watching TV. It’s about the dependence that we all have with media to constantly teach, entertain and relax us and ultimately tell us who we are, what we like and maybe even what we’re good at. I wanted to portray TV as a good guy and a bad guy all at once. He’s the enemy who lives with you and that you just can’t stop watching. And why would you want to?" (To contact Holly Klein e-mail her at [email protected])
Film #2: It’s My Turn (Length: 2:50; Pencil)–According to filmmaker Hwang Nguyen, it’s the little moments in life that make the best creative fodder. When we screened It’s My Turn, we liked the animation, but now that we found out about the magical and rather naughty little moment the short was based on, we like it even more. Says Nguyen, "I wanted to tell an entertaining story with interesting characters and was inspired by my sister, Anna. One day my brother and I were playing Puzzle Bubble and my sister came in and wanted to play, too but we wouldn’t let her. How unfair of us older brothers, huh? ‘Come on guys, let me play. Hey, it’s my turn. It’s my turn!’ She kept at it for a while and I think we both ended up leaving and letting her play by herself." This story proves that even sibling rivalry can lead to great inspiration. (If you want to chat about animation or your annoying little sister, write Hwang Nguyen at [email protected])
Film #3: Kenya (Length: :49; Flash) A word of great warning: don’t watch this cartoon if you’re at all susceptible to a catchy tune. That’s right, if you’re the type to get music stuck in your head DO NOT watch Kenya. One of our fave filmmakers, Mr. J. Picking (a.k.a. Weebl), made this short just to torture us and we’ve got to say that we can definitely take the pain. Not only is that bad little lion adorable, we dig this short’s very British humor and, of course, can’t stop singing that darn song! (Check out Weebl’s well-visited cartoon site (www.weebls-stuff.com) for more shorts, including an offer for the new Weebl & Bob DVD of shorts that aired on MTV-UK.
Film #4: Coolman! Deep Sea Blues (Length: 5:00; Flash)–Animation director Arna Selznick created the character Coolman with John Van Bruggen (Beetlejuice, Dog City), a director and writer who happens to also be her husband. Selznick has more than twenty years of cartoon experience with credits that include Canada’s Golden Reel award for the direction of the original Care Bears Movie. Well, in terms of design, this episode of Coolman, titled Deep Sea Blues, is about as far afield of the Care Bears as a good cup of java at a beatnik poetry reading. We really like the pacing of this cartoon, the character design and that funky Coolman–the hip alter ego of one worn-out everyman named Lester. Tune in to see how Lester’s purchase of a goldfish takes him to the coolest place of all, the bottom of the deep blue sea. (To find out more about the filmmakers and other Coolman shorts produced for Canada’s major indie house, Nelvana, e-mail funpak[email protected])
Film #5: Haina: A Concert (Length: :30, 2D animation)–If you’re having a little difficulty seeing the magic in life, may we recommend a dash of witchcraft? Although it really is only a dash, this beautiful and silly little short grabs your imagination and tickles your heart. We hope you enjoy the spell that Brazilian filmmaker Arnaldo Galvao casts in Haina; we know we’re still enchanted. (To reach Arnaldo Galvao, e-mail [email protected])
Film #6: Gumbuster (Length: 3:33; 2D Animation)–Filmmaker Hrefna Bragadottir says that what she loves most about animation is the fact that absolutely anything is possible. Her unusual and totally endearing short, Gumbuster, definitely proves her point. Here’s how Bragadottir came up with the film: "[The idea] started developing when I was walking the gum-infested streets of England after a late night. Pieces of gum were scattered all over the place and looked like little, squashed aliens that did not belong there at all. For some odd reason it made me think of a chewing gum cloud that attacks cities around the world with chewing gum rain. This, however, had no storyline or meaning and was just a little gag that made me chuckle. It wasn’t until I did my three-month work placement at Varga Studios in Budapest that I really started developing the concept of chewing gum on the streets. If the pieces of gum had some other purpose, like tremendous singing talent, they could perhaps turn things around! I don’t know why pieces of gum would sing, but at least it convinced the characters of Gumbuster to stop spitting it on the streets!" (To find out more about filmmaker Hrefna Bragadottir, check out her website at www.flufftoons.com.)
Film #7: Ape Escape (Length: 5:00; CG)–We’re running quite a few Ape Escapes, little one-minute fun-packed adventures of a boy and his crazy apes. We’d spend more time describing them, but we’d spoil the punchlines. Let’s just say if you like fart jokes, monkeys and wacky music, you won’t want to let these little shorts get away. All of our Ape Escape shorts were directed by Yorifusa Yamaguchi and come to us from Shogakukan Music & Digital Entertainment, courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.