Packaged Goods: Artful Animation

Packaged Goods: Artful Animation
Continuing on its unconventional crusade to give disposable media an art house platform, the TIFF Packaged Goods series presents their Artful Animation segment, which looks at animation in music videos, short films, public service announcements and commercials.

Kicking off the program are French turntable artists C2C and their video for "The Beat," which works well in getting the audience jazzed up with it's lively hand-drawn animation and upbeat soundtrack. Equally as entertaining is the 5-minute Converse ad entitled, "Doyathing," which finds the animated gang from The Gorillaz inside a frat house of horrors.

Music and animation go hand-in-hand as demonstrated in Diplo's "Set It Off" with its electronic beats and the world's longest stripper pole complete with dozens of scantily clad belles writhing and shimmying their goods. Gotye's "Easy Way Out" provides a breath of life to the overdone 360-degree continuous shot, while Cadbury's "Enjoy the Moment" and the BBC's "Stadium UK" commercial spots for the London Olympics capture the spirit of the games with their breathtaking visuals and triumphant tunes.

For those who despise TV advertising, there's content ranging from a 4-minute video game trailer for Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, with it's phenomenal visuals that rival some big budget films, to "Tiny Tortures" from Flying Lotus, which finds Elijah Wood as a drug-addicted amputee in a state of euphoric daydreaming.

Staying truer to the art house intent, Artful Animation contains the 2012 Oscar nominated short, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to round out the program on an incredibly artistic note. This ode to storytelling and imagination finds its Buster Keaton-esque lead character reassembling his town's library after a hurricane blew through. He resultantly experiences the books in a new way as they come to life before his eyes.

TIFF's Packaged Goods programs are always a visual orgy and the current program is no different. With its 64-minute run-time, packed with an assortment of everything animated within the recent cultural lexicon, it has a little something for the personal tastes of most. As with all of the PG programs, this edition is curated by Rae Ann Fera and features an appearance from Gerald Ding, creative director of New York-based agency, Psyop. Having created spots for brands including IBM, Nike, AT&T, MTV, Starbucks and many more, Ding will undoubtedly have much to share on the role animation plays in today's media.

Packaged Goods: Artful Animation screens at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, February 20 at 7:00pm. (TIFF)