You’ve seen all the laurels. You’ve heard all the rumours. Yes, Hybrids really is that good. A contender for the 91st Academy Awards for Best Animation, the 6min grad film was created by Florian Brauch, Matthieu Pujol, Kim Tailhades, Yohan Thireau and Romain Thirion during their final year at CG animation school MoPA. Using exceptional craftsmanship, the 5 students have created a breathtaking world of hyperreal detail, but what lurks beneath the dazzling production is a sobering cautionary tale, the effects of which will stay with you long after the credits roll.
In the near future, our legacy forces marine wildlife to adapt to their surroundings with unimaginable consequences. Hybrids is a 3D animated film, set in the oceanic depths, revealing the brutality of survival and the catastrophic effects of pollution on our environment.
The idea for Hybrids was born when Romain Thirion, an experienced diver, started noticing a drastic increase in ocean pollution, which in turn was causing an equally alarming decrease in the marine life population. On one particular occasion, during a dive, he spotted something shiny buried in the sand. What he thought was a small fish turned out to be a bottle cap, igniting the first spark which inspired the film.
“We think that we are one of the last generations, if not the last one, to be able to change things. We started to develop some ideas around this, based on the original concept we created around hybridization of marine life and trash, depicting what was to us at the time a vision of the future. We wanted something realistic to tell the audience, ‘what you’re seeing looks real because it’s almost real in our world” – the animators explain.
This is precisely why Hybrids is so impactful – it feels unsettlingly real. The aesthetic here is cleverly designed to imitate life, but seen through a twisted, hostile lens which inevitably hits home and leaves you wondering ‘is this all to come’? The ingenious character and sound design do a brilliant job of seamlessly blending the organic with the synthetic, tricking our eyes and ears into buying this dark vision of the future.
What I find most admirable about Hybrids and the talented team behind it though, is that it was created to make a difference. The animators could have easily just used their impressive craft to produce a film only intended to raise awareness of their own blossoming skills, instead they chose to highlight one of the planet’s most growing concerns. As they elaborate – “If only one person changed their bad habits after seeing Hybrids it would already be a great achievement for us. We used the tools we knew, making films, and the opportunity we had to reach out to people who still refuse to acknowledge the urgency of the situation.”
The 5 animators are currently all spread around the world in different studios, working on their craft, but don’t worry we’ll be keeping an eye on them, as well as on the upcoming Oscars!