Friday, October 14, 2016

Movie Review: Independent Animation Short Films (SDiFF 2016)

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Director: Robert Kondo and Daisuke Tsutsumi
Run Time: 15 minutes

A memory named Moom helps free other memories from objects they are attached to. 

"Moom" is directed by Robert Kondo and Daisuke Tsutsumi. It is a funny, adorable, heartwarming, and deeply moving story told within a very short time period. The filmmakers have done a brilliant job creating so much emotion and such an impactful story in just 15 minutes of screen time. This film brought us to tears. It's beautifully animated, crisp and clean, and it looks like the type of a short that is Oscar ready. This is an amazingly wonderful film that everyone should seek out as soon as possible.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDb's Rating: 7.4/10
Movie"Illegal Move"
Director: Sana Srinivasan and Kyle Lopez
Run Time: 4 minutes

A love story between two chess pieces, a white knight and a red queen, who are forced apart by the rules of the game. 

"Illegal Move" is an extremely cute romance created by Kyle Lopez and Sana Srinivasan. It's unique in that it is a love story between two chess pieces on opposite sides who fall in love. A white knight and a red queen want so much to be together, but unfortunately, the rules keep them apart. This story is a rather brilliant allegory for cultural traditions when it comes to romance, how many young people in the modern world are still under pressure from their elders to follow tradition and that it takes a lot of bravery to break from these cultural and traditional restraints. We very much enjoyed the look and story presented within this short!

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDb's Rating: ---/10
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Movie"Borrowed Time"
Director: Andrew Coates and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
Run Time: 7 minutes

An old cowboy revisits the place where his life was changed forever.

"Borrowed Time" is directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj. Both of these men work for the animation studio Pixar, though this is their independent project. It is a sad tale about an aging cowboy dealing with the demons of his past. It is an emotional tale that is trying to be poignant, and for the most part, it is successful. We like the choice to use very minimal dialogue in this short, and it is very polished and pretty looking.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDb's Rating: 7.1/10
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Movie"Linden Tar"
Director: Olga Grechanova
Run Time: ---

A stuffed dog seeks out a light for his lantern friend.

"Linden Tar" is a bizarre stop-motion animated film written and directed by Olga Grechanova. This short is kind of like "Toy Story" if Spike's mangled toys were the protagonists. There is no dialogue, just a singular haunting song running over the course of a few minutes. The film is visually delightful, albeit a bit creepy. At its core, this is a tender, sweet tale of friendship as told through a small adventure with odd looking toys who have all been aided by one stuffed pup.

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7.5/10
IMDb's Rating: ---/10
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Movie"Los Gatos/The Cats"
Director: Alejandro Rios
Run Time: ---

A stray cat is taken into the home of an old man who isn't quite what he seems.

"Los Gatos/The Cats" is directed by Alejandro Rios and is written by Cesar Perlop. It has an interesting look and it almost feels as if the animation is done with water colors. At first, it seems like a sweet story, but it quickly takes a dark, depressing turn. In many ways, we believe it is an allegory for domestic violence, and there is an afterward in the credits that reveals this to be true. It is very sad and very tragic, but well made and beautifully animated.

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDb's Rating: ---/10

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