Animation Spotlight: Studio Film Bilder
Published Jun 07, 2012These eight shorts from Studio Film Bilder vary so widely in style and content that it's surprising there's a connection beyond being animated.
First up, No Room for Gerold is the inferior of two shorts featuring anthropomorphised CGI animals. Putting a bunch of beasts around a table and having them discuss roommate issues isn't inherently insightful and the sub-par writing and voice acting don't help.
In the same vein, but far more successful, 12 Years watches a dog couple in a swank restaurant having an emotional conversation about the break up of their marriage. He is a smug, callous little bastard and his bitch gives him what he deserves.
Rubicon is a cheeky, hand drawn answer to the riddle, "How would you bring a wolf, a sheep and a cabbage across the river without the sheep eating the cabbage or the wolf eating the sheep?" It continually deconstructs and reconfigures the scene in every which way possible, well past the point of ridiculousness.
It's certainly more fun than the tedious, forgettable and seedy cowboy story, Ring of Fire. The one thing I took from it: breasts look weird on bulky stick figures. Livening things up, The Creation is a goofy brainstorming session with God as he tries out all manner of creatures before settling on the ones we recognize from our world. Oh, and there's a very different outcome than expected when he gets to Adam.
Sticking to the biblical slant, The Final Solution is kind of like an irreverent, fascist Battlestar Gallactica. A spacefaring race is separated into two factions: believers, and non-believers. What each group do or don't believe in doesn't matter so much as the emerging assertion that every religious leader and artist is a complete fraud.
Less amusing is The Runt, which is basically a crudely drawn Charlotte's Web, with bunny meat instead of pork at the end of the line. Wrapping up this collection is the aptly titled Love & Theft. A morphing montage of shapes transforms into famous cartoon characters and historical figures, showing just how similar many highly recognizable shapes are, highlighting the minute differences that make them iconic.