The most ambitious visual attack on the senses we’ve seen in a long time, Rosa brings a new type of action to the animated world. On first blush, you might pass Rosa off as just a glorified fight sequence, but look deeper and you’ll find an intricately built world with a backstory that’s begging to be told. Crafted by Jesús Orellana, an illustrator who taught himself to animate in one year, Rosa embodies the dream of short filmmakers everywhere, as 20th Century Fox ponied up the funds to turn Rosa into a live-action Hollywood feature with Jesús at the helm.
Please Say Something was a 2010 favorite, but David OReilly’s followup, The External World feels like his opus. The film takes both his low-poly 3D aesthetic and entropic story lines to new heights. Like Don Hertzfeldt before him, David’s refreshing irreverence for 3D technology and modern society has made him a new cult hero in animation.
Combining the clever use of desk props, lighting, and Google Street View made Address is Approximate the film that everyone wishes they’d made. But the magic Tom Jenkins (The Theory) brought is the touching story of dreaming big in an ever-shrinking world.
There’s a delicate beauty in the rhythms of Thursday—whether it’s the images inspired by Native American quilts or the editing cuts timed carefully to the beat of the score. The RCA thesis film made Matthias a hot ticket at agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. He later joined the London studio, Beakus.
It’s incredibly difficult to approach something that’s already been done hundreds of thousands of times and do it in a way that feels like you’re seeing it for the first time. Illustrator Julia Pott does just that by bringing her distinctive, fantastical characters to life in Howard. On top of that, she manages to tell a touching modern story about the silent tragedy of a slow fading love.
Best Festival Film to Finally Drop Online—The Man with Beautiful Eyes
Eleven years after hitting the festival circuit and winning the BAFTA for Best Animated Short, Jonathan Hodgson’s child-like animation is as beautiful as ever. And in a year that saw the Occupy movement and a growing distrust for authority, the story is more relevant than ever.
Best Chase Sequence—Hambuster
Chase sequences are always a crowd pleaser, but it’s much more difficult to make this classic movie staple feel fresh. How about being chased by a man-eating hamburger? Yeah, that’s new. Also spectacular is the creative action and camera work that you won’t see elsewhere in animation.
Best Blatant Self-Promotion—The Thomas Beale Cipher
We launched our film a year ago using a our now famous launch plan strategy. And while Jason and I were happy to exclude it, our fellow contributors convinced us it deserved a spot here, so here it is. Happy?