Mexico’s much-loved Pixelatl festival, which takes place this year from September 6-10, has announced that it is collaborating with Guadalajara-based studio Mighty Animation to create the art and trailer for the popular event.
“At Pixelatl, we try to create spaces where Latin-American artists can find their calling and discover the importance of collaboration and helping each other,” says festival director José Iñesta. “That’s the reason we are very excited that Mighty Animation Studio is our creative partner for Pixelatl 2022. As much as this studio has grown internationally, they continue to be a beacon of generosity for the local industry.”
We had a chance to speak with Mighty Animation’s director Luispa Salmón about the studio and their remarkable decade in animation, and got an exclusive look at Mighty’s special designs for this year’s festival.
Animation Magazine: First of all, congrats on your 10th anniversary in the business. Can you tell us a bit about your work for Pixelatl?
Luispa Salmón: This Festival’s signal short for 2022 comes originally from Pixelatl’s manifesto: “Encuentro.” For this piece, Mighty has been inspired by this concept of “encounter/meeting” and even though the term is not quite the same in English as in Spanish, I think the feeling prevails. We wanted the viewers to experience a sentiment of nostalgia and joy, a warm feeling of going back home after a long and complicated trip.
Mighty’s Encuentro has been designed and created by renowned Mexican artist Julio Pacheco. His characters’ and look and feel resemble a children’s book aesthetic, where texture, color and simple shapes contribute to creating this special world.
How long did it take to make and how many people worked on it? Which animation tools do you use?
Twelve people helped create this short. We used Toon Boom Harmony, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop.
What do you love best about this very special animation event?
Even though it feels like a very personal concept from Julio, it is also a concept easy to relate to, considering the pandemic. I think we all come from a very important and complex event in our history, an event that to some degree has had an impact on all of us. From that idea, Mighty is using that feeling and directing it towards Pixelatl’s values (connection, collaboration, encounter). Encuentro tells a story of resilience at the same time it brings a feeling of hope and shelter in such a complex era.
In regards to the Festival, I think it is a little bit the same — Pixelatl has been a bridge and key element in our industry’s development. The theme of this year, in my opinion, is not only accurate but also necessary for our community, and I love the fact that we will meet again after these years.
How are things at Mighty? What fun projects are you working on?
Mighty is proudly working with some of the main players in the industry. such as Disney, WarnerMedia, Bento Box, Titmouse and Flying Bark, among others.
It looks like we are seeing a lot of interesting projects coming from Mexico these days…what is your take on the health of the industry in beautiful Mexico?
It’s a growing industry for sure — 2022 is Mighty’s 10th anniversary and through these years we have witnessed the evolution and the growth of our industry. I think in Mexico, geographically speaking, we are privileged and we have been able to partner with successful American studios at the same time we have been able to capitalize some of the amazing talents in the region.
What kind of challenges are you facing in 2022?
Like many studios, Mighty has experienced accelerated growth since the pandemic started. From 150 collaborators to more than 400, I think the challenge has been to constantly adjust our processes to the new challenges of the industry while we keep a clear vision of our company’s commitment to quality and efficiency.
What do you love about your job?
Both Claudio [Jiménez] and I (co-founders of the studio) love the challenge of being heads of a studio in a developing and thriving industry. We have the amazing opportunity and arduous task to contribute to shaping our industry’s identity. We are aware that from our positions we can make a difference and It is a huge responsibility and an absolute privilege to do so.
We love art, we love animation, and we love our heritage, and it is thought these factors where our superpower lies: the unflagging commitment to making things right and helping to build one of the most colorful and exciting industries in the world.
To learn more about the studio, visit mightyanimation.com.
You can find out more about the 11th edition of Pixelatl, which takes place September 6-10 in Guadalajara, Mexico, at pixelatl.com.