short film review

Reviews and news about short films, short film festivals, reviews, links and guides to short films online,images from short films,directors,writers,cinemaphotographers. Copyright 2005, 2006 by Allan Maurer. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Gopher Broke at Sundance Made Us Laugh

"Gopher Broke," an animation showing in the Sundance 2006 Short Film program, reminds me of both classic Disney and Warner Brother's Cartoons. The Gopher has worse luck than Wylie Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons and never fares anywhere so well as the Disney Gophers.

This fella, unnamed but winningly animated, whether by computer or by hand, and who cares when it's this good, is entertaining. He coulda done Broadway. I would love to see another of cartoon starring this character. Those rolling eyes never worked better.

This four-minute extravaganza made me laugh aloud several times with sight gags worthy of Chuck Jones, famous for giving characters such as Wylie an expression showing they recognize their fate, among other things. Geez, this little gem plays with cartoon cliches and turns them to new purpose. Despite its clear influences, this is no slavishly imitative effort. The animation itself is often ravishing.

It ends with a perfectly classic, ah, end. You'll see what I mean when you watch it.

Jeff Fowler, Tim Miller
Jeff Fowler
Executive Producer
Tim Miller
Al Shier
Animation Supervisor
Marlon Nowe
Lighting/Compositing Supervisor
Dan Rice
Concept Design
Chuck Wojtkiewicz, Sean McNally

There's a terrific bit of harmonica early on that I appreciated as a blues harmonica player, but really, it has a nice score reminescent of the best classic toons throughout, from lush orchestration to that single harmonica.

This is very much one of my favorites among the Sundance short films I've watched so far. I expect to go back and give it another look, and I've already watched it three times.


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