Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Toondra Animation Company

One of the most successful animation used in our class in the past two years has been the Russian studio Toondra’s marvellous Leningrad. This 2004 music video for the group of that name is rather adult in nature for our students but they have treated it most sensibly in all sorts of written responses. It also has so much to teach about the use of Flash to create dynamic movies. It has been most influential. Of course it is helped by the popularity of the music with the lead singer bawling into his microphone and screen equivalent of the dictator high on the podium ranting at his soldiers and supporters. We have had lots of discussions about the use of the Flash medium for the purposes of satire. The studio's music video for "Skafandr" is similarly adult in part but I sometimes long for my students to break away from the realism of film and take advantage of the Flash software and use diagrams, text, photographs, video and all those graphic tools available with the package. At times watching this movie, with its diagrams for the Moscow underground and various traffic and public information symbols, is like being immersed in a website. There are lots of other animations on the site, though I don't want this Santa delivering my presents in December.

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