M.I.F.F.F. 2010: Animation Shorts Review

Kidnap is a cute children’s short from the U.S. and China, by animator Sijia Luo, about a young chicken that’s late for school but has an incredible story for an excuse.  The animation is 2-D and done so as to resemble the drawings of a child.  The little chicken’s outlandish story covers everything from being kidnapped by other chickens to being kidnapped from them by gunmen only to be taken again by alien, and finally rescued by Jesus who’s responsible for getting her to school at all.  Grade: A

Father and Sister, written and directed by Soyeon Kim, is a humorous story of a nun who picks a flower to place inside a cathedral, and a pesky bee who follows her, causing suggestive mischief to ensue with the resident priest.  Using a similar cutout 2-D animation style to the cartoon South Park, the story has no dialogue but portrays a satirical moment in a priest’s life when he witnesses the attractive nun nearly completely disrobe, unbeknownst to him from his view in his office, that it is because she is doing battle with the bee and unwittingly winds up that way.  Grade: A (Note: the short can be viewed in its entirety via the link above)

Ducked and Covered: A Survival Guide to the Post-Apocalypse, written and directed by Nathaniel Lindsay, is without a doubt my favorite entry in this series.  Described as, “An animated government/science style public service film, circa 1981, for surviving life in Australia after Nuclear War.”  It is straight to the point and downright funny, deriving most of its laughs off either ideas of common sense or references to past Post-Apocalypse stories like, Mad Max.  Covering the gamut, this homage to informational public films informs of ways to deal with food, mutants, becoming a warlord, and provides numerous ways to use human skulls, of which will be in abundance in after the apocalypse.  The film uses very limited animation and relies more on still images accompanied by a narrator, and its nine minute running length feels short when it ends, leaving the viewer wanting more education on surviving the wastelands.  Grade: A+

The final entry in the animation block, The Scottish Ninjas was the longest and perhaps most ambitious.  Written and directed by Beau Obremski and Rob Mullin, who were also in attendance, it tells the story of three Scottish men adopted by another Scotsman who one day accidentally drank the spirit of a Japanese warrior out of a bottle. As the filmmakers told the audience, the cartoon is intended for an audience like that of Adult Swim’s, who they’re hoping to sell The Scottish Ninjas to.  The cartoon is crass and irreverent, and seems ripe for its intended audience, it did have a few bumps or hiccups in its 21 minute running time, but if the series continues those are issues I’m sure that will iron themselves out.  Grade: B-

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Benjamin Nason is a writer, film-maker and critic from the Pacific Northwest, where he lives with his cat Lulu.

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