Car-killing houses and polar bears like migrants: new eco-cartoons

    09 Sep 2021

    The last four years presented a gift to the festival audience: a selection of short animated films from different countries on eco-topics. In our review, we will mention all genres, from satirical comedy to post-apocalyptic drama.

    It is gratifying that animation in the nature conservation genre is supported by the efforts of enthusiasts and cultural foundations of various continents, which is noticeable in the credits. We mention both the works of newcomers, the creations of mature artists, and even a hip-hop music video with punks waving slogans. Let’s consider this collection.

    Tomas. A Tale of Redemption Nº01 Year 2.095 (2020)

    Authors:  Sandra Obando, Tatiana Pinzón.

    Country: Colombia, duration 10:30.

    The cartoon is shot in the genre of “post-apocalypse”. It’s perhaps the most “traditional” of the series in terms of plot and linearity of the narrative. So, in a post-apocalyptic Bogotá, due to environmental pollution, Ecopraxis, an environmental organization, looks for the so-called “spheres of life.”.” Thanks to them, it will begin a new life on the poisoned Earth.

    The main character will do anything to get into Ecopraxis, which is looking for a way to restore the planet and regain the Earth’s natural balance. After years-long service, the organization promises its employees their retirement in Arcadia, the only place alive on the Earth.

    The main character deceives the organization and another man to get into the ranks of the “sphere seekers.” He desperately wants to enter “heaven on Earth” called Arcadia, working out his long-term norm. According to the plot, he has to rethink his despicable act and pay a moral debt for it.

    Benztown (2021)

    Author: Gottfried Mentor.

    Country: Germany, duration 04:45.

    A masterpiece short film about how buildings in the city live an inconspicuous life. They also, like people, don’t like fuming cars. However, from a car’s exhaust pipe, a young house can even… smoke like a cigarette, getting a scolding from the elders.

    Using the example of the city of Stuttzrat, the author showed how houses could come to life and destroy cars at their discretion.

    Five out of five for such a loose interpretation of the story “Trucks” by Stephen King. There, we recall, the machines themselves came to life and lived their own lives.

    Migrants (2020)

    Authors: Hugo Caby, Antoine Dupriez, Aubin Kubiak, Lucas Lermytte, Zoé Devise

    Country: France, duration 08:22.

    It would seem a hackneyed topic: the glaciers are melting, polar bears are forced to leave their habitat. However, the authors put a social message into their creation: the characters find themselves in the “promised land” of brown bears, which are totally not happy to meet their competitors. And here, there is already an utterly transparent allusion to the United States and, to a lesser extent, to European countries. The police are pushing migrants who cannot find their place on the planet into the sea on a further journey.

    Here and Loud (2020)

    Author: Henrike Rothe.

    Country: Germany, duration 04:10.

     A potential hit song of the climate change movement. Everything seems like in the dreams of antiglobalists of the late 90s and early 2000s: a motley crowd of protesters with posters and guitars, a clear rap reading, eco-slogans, an appeal to politicians. Due to the annoying chorus, it will entirely pass for a self-sufficient musical composition, especially if you do not listen to the text carefully or do not know German.

    Authors describe “Hier und Laut” as the anthem of all young climate activists and those who want to become one. The catchy song by musician Eric Wermke is accompanied by a lively animated video that tells facts about climate change with humor and charming characters.

    The comfortable indifference of abundance (2021)

    Author: Lucas Schiaroli.

    Country: Argentina, duration 04:22.

    The idea is simple and straightforward: what if we make dolphins, whales, and fish anthropomorphic? The first characters on the screen live in luxury in a prosperous city with access to water. The second part overcomes kilometers to collect water from the column, which, moreover, ends.

    A Fish Boy travels long distances through the countryside in search of some water to survive. In Wet City, not far from there, its inhabitants squander it daily using it carelessly. An unexpected storm will change everyone’s life and put things in their place.

    The images of intelligent beings in the cartoon are fish and whales with human bodies.

    Plastic (2017)

    Author: Sébastien Baillou.

    Country: Belgium, duration: 06:40.

    It is a vivid sketch in psychedelic colors about a world where plastic is becoming more and more: so much so that after 2050 there will be more of it in the ocean than fish.

    Just Wait (2020)

    Author: Eve Walding.

    Country: USA, duration 03:39.

    A short film about how wild animals flee the fire and no longer find a place in the blazing world. And the world of people, the city, is also ablaze before their eyes.

    Disparus (2020)

    Authors: Pauline Epiard, Valentine Ventura, Tiphaine Burguburu, Clémentine Vasseur, Lisa Laîné, Élodie Laborde.

    Country: France, duration 06:47.

    A virtuoso satire on pop journalism. The dandy and boorish TV presenter goes to a remote island to film the world’s last nesting site of the Great Auk (this species of flightless alcid bird really existed, and people finally exterminated them in the 19th century).

    A devoted fan, who, according to hints, turns out to be Greta Thunberg herself, conducts a dialogue with the presenter live. According to the plot, it turns out that the TV star, in general, does not care about the endangered Auks.

    Critical line (2020)

    Author: Vicente Mallols.

    Country: Spain, duration 03:31.

    The plot idea has been used in many movies before, but why not retell Robison’s story in a new way? We have a man sitting under a palm tree in the middle of the ocean.

    Nassotis constantly throws garbage into the sea, but it always comes back. This continues until he finds himself under the rubble when one fish decides to teach him.

    Mondo Domino (2021)

    Author: Suki.

    Country: France, duration 06:15.

    Satire and black humor, slightly reminiscent of the 1996 film Beautiful Green (“La belle verte,” where characters from the happy eco-world set an example – what if we introduce an element of madness into our daily life?).

    The whole world is infected with insanity, expressed in the singing of a melody of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. (Jean-Phillipe Gréau Trio Domino performs interpretation). From loggers, madness is transmitted to civilized Europe… And now politicians (still in their right mind) are faced with a dilemma: should they start a war, pressing the red button?

    By the way, the authors also strongly criticized the Paris Fashion Week as a symbol of the triumph of consumerism.

    The Birth (2021)

    Author: Arjun Mukherjee.

    Country: India, duration 02:44.

    Along with disturbing music, we watch a seemingly commonplace action: the birth of a new child. But all participants are wearing masks hinting at the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. And the child is the whole planet Earth. As we hope together with the directors – updated and refined.

    Scream For Ice (2020)

    Author: Emir Aytemür

    Country: Turkey, duration 04:02 |

    Several scenes: the sun is shining, the ice is melting. Polar bear alone (again, this image, like in “Migrants” cartoon). The child shouted “oh!” when he dropped the ice cream (we realize a play on words around “ice cream” and “scream for ice”). This haiku became the basis of “Scream for Ice.” The form of the cartoon’s narrative is based on traditional Japanese poetry called haiku.

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