Saturday, 1 September 2007

Chris Wedge "Bunny"

"Bunny" directed by Chris Wedge in 1998 is a major production for a seven minute animation with a cast of one rabbit and a moth. Produced by Blue Sky Studios the Credits is an extended item with a host of animators, technical directors, digital paint artists and modelers. This does not of course detract from the movie though pity the poor guy who has to produce an animation for herself. Mind you it does have an excellent song by Tom Waites and Kathleen Brennan as the credits roll, together with a musical soundtrack and incidental sounds that are superb. "Bunny" also won the Academy Award for 1998. The story is fairly straightforward. An ageing rabbit hobbles around the kitchen with the aid of her walking frame when a rather large and persistent moth flutters into every light bulb available and disturbs her baking. In the course of its flight and her pursuit the insect disturbs a picture of the lady and her deceased husband and a note of sadness and sentimentality creep into the movie. If you thought CS Lewis had the answer to doorways to another world then this movie has it beat. And is the moth a moth or a ....? However, what makes the movie so good is that for 1998 the technical effects were so novel. For example there is the first recorded use of "radiosity", a technique that makes the lighting properties subtle and natural, together with a similarly natural feel to the kitchen and its utensils. The software works terrifically well and it is has led the way to today's even more glorious software. Finally a word from Chris himself: "We started our studio over 10 years ago with all the money we could scrape together. We struggled without pay for a long time developing software and pounding the pavement for business. Bunny started with ideas about what our software could do someday and the kinds of movies we could make with it. " You can buy the DVD and book direct from the company here or watch it on YouTube.

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