It’s amazing what you can do with very little.
Consider Loop, an amazing eight-minute short film from Argentina which has been shown at an incredible number of film festivals and is now available on YouTube.
Pablo Polledri, a prolific Argentinian filmmaker, wrote and directed this stunning exercise in limited animation: Loop uses a driving score and extremely simple, doodle-like characters to tell a wordless tale of a dystopian society and a revolt from its oppression.
But he also makes it funny at the same time. And wildly entertaining.
I particularly like the use of color in his short. He uses a very limited palette, heavy on the reds and greys, with strong black lines and a lot of spot blacks. The world he creates is at once simple and detailed, a world that is very familiar and yet unsettlingly strange. Loop’s emphasis on repeated motions — which is at the very heart of the story — also has the side benefit that it probably saved a lot of animation work, although Polledri seems to have put any savings back into the film: there is a lot of detail to the animation, with multiple layers of action and nice little minor details.
If I had to make any grumbles about the film, it would be the sequence involving a car chase, where the cars are plainly computer generated and look a bit out of place against the very flat nature of most of the artwork. However, he captures the style of the artwork in the rest of the short, and it isn’t too jarring.
And it would have required vast amounts of very difficult work to do it by hand.
More than anything else, it is so refreshing in an age dominated by computer animation and the dominant Pixar style nearly all animated films follow to find a film which is defiantly unique, has its own strange, non-realistic aesthetic, and which could not have been realized any other way than through the use of limited animation. We seem to have forgotten that animation is supposed to be animated drawings, and that it should be as extravagant and varied as the work of artists, draftsmen and cartoonists can be. Animated films shouldn’t look like each other.
But only a few films, like Loop, dare to be different.
And if there is one thing we need these days it is more films like this…