Animade recently released Milo Targett’s “Lido Sim,” a cute, post-modern take on the long tradition of animators toying with their animated creations. The short’s protagonist attempts to take a simple dip in a pool but is constantly thwarted by the machinations of an unseen creator who uses his mouse to change the shape of the protagonist’s world.
The sound design in “Lido Sim” is worth noting, as it creates an elegant bridge between our reality (as a viewer) and the reality of the character. The constant hum of a CPU fan acts as a gentle reminder that we’re watching someone watching someone else.
A quick romp through history
Perhaps the most popular series of creator-as-antagonist shorts are Osvaldo Cavandoli’s classic La Linea animations, which feature an irascible hero who’s very existence is determined by a single stroke of his creator’s hand.
From 1953, the Chuck Jones-directed “Duck Amuck” features Looney Toons star Daffy Duck in a variety of surreal situations — including total erasure by his creator. The short also plays with sound design, at one point trading Daffy’s voice for a variety of animal sounds (much to Daffy’s consternation). Even the frame of the film is introduced as a gag element.
More recent examples include Alan Becker’s Animator vs Animation series, currently in its fourth installment.
(Check out the fun behind the scenes featurette for a peek at some Easter eggs hidden in Animator vs Animation IV.)
The use of browser windows in “Lido Sim” also reminds me of the brilliantly conceived short for Intel, “The Chase.” Directed by Oscar-nominated duo Smith & Foulkes, the branded project follows an action sequence from window to window and from medium to medium. “The Chase” existed as both a passive short (below) and an interactive HTML5 experience.
I’m sure the examples above are just the tip of the iceberg. Share others in the comments, please!