If you haven’t yet check out our article on Sci Fi movies from the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival here.
For the first time this year Comicon had a family friendly version of their cartoon block. At least the first time in my memory. It was perfectly titled “Saturday Morning Cartoons”. How convenient that my 5 year old had just spent Friday night with me at the Renaissance. After hitting up Dunkin Donuts for some very healthy breakfast cartoons sounded like a perfect way to start our Comicon Saturday together!
I will let you be the judge of whether it was a worthwhile way to start the morning.
Let me breakdown the stats first.
- 4 Short Films
- Total time of all was under 30 minutes
- 1 was a foreign language at 20 minutes long
- 1 had a political message
- 1 superhero related
- 1 had a cute bird
If you did the quick math in your head you will notice that most of the film festival block was a foreign cartoon with subtitles. My 5 year old is a great reader. But he doesn’t have the subtle art of reading subtitles while watching a show down just yet. Since he didn’t understand the short he was bored within minutes.
And this was how the block of films started. Not good. I was already making disapproving faces to the other adults I was with.
From there we jumped to a cute bird called Pip and a 1 minutes short film called Pip’s Adventure. This was reminisce of those shorts you get before a Pixar film. Little Pip wakes up hungry and an adventure ensues as she attempts to get the worm working through her limitations of being a small baby bird. My only negative note on this is that there wasn’t a score in the background during all the drama Pip was going through. An added score throughout would have put this into a favorite category.
Next up is another cute animation called Lil Bat. At least I thought it was when it started. It opens to Lil Bat waking up in a cave all by himself. His morning routine goes about. Opening his toy box to find his favorite toy. Giving his dad a high five. Hugging his mom. Only his dad and mom are cardboard cutouts. They aren’t really there. To which I immediately began thinking “oh he got left behind”. This was going to be a heart breaker as a father. He would be going on an adventure to find his parents or something. Then I realized I wasn’t paying attention to the film and for some reason there was “snow” falling in the cave and all over the bat.
As the short cuts up comes the dialogue explaining what’s happening. Going into detail on White Nose Syndrome and how it’s killing the bat population of North America. Not the political message I was looking for in a family friendly cartoon. This Lil Bat’s parents were dead. Which my son caught on to.
When it was over he turned to me and said, “That was sad.”
I was holding my breath for the last cartoon about to come on.
Gigamice started up and right away I knew we were safe. A superhero cartoon! Unfortunately I could not find the episode in it’s entirety online but the creator does have the title sequence animation on her website here. That will give you a good idea of what you get. A fun animation style, good soundtrack, voice over and the adventure of mice who fight off evil viruses in a computer. What a great idea! This one was a great end to what was seeming like a failed block of short films.
Two of the creators were in the audience and came up for a Q&A. I held my breath as their names were announced.
It was the creators of the two animated films we loved! Gigamice and Pip’s Adventure!
While both were somewhat awkward in front of an audience they did an amazing job on answering questions and talking about their projects. For my curiosity I had to ask, “How long did it take to create these final projects?”
Both answered very similarly. If you did the math it broke down to 4 months of work per 1 minutes of final animation.
Kudos to Katherine Morter and Darissa Townes on their animations that we loved. It was great seeing the people behind the films. And so much respect for what goes into making an animation possible.
Now if only Phoenix Comicon would get their act together on family friendly cartoons. Maybe next year they will have a “Child” version and a “Sidekick” version to go along with their membership pass ages…