Thursday, 13 March 2008

The British Animation Awards (2) - Best Music Video "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" The Puppini Sisters & "Salmon Dance" Chemical Brothers

My review of the three "Best Music Videos" in The British Animation Awards follows on from yesterday, moving to the second and third contenders. A modern cover of the 1941 wartime dance number and Oscar nominated classic by the The Andrews Sisters, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy belts along in retro style performed by The Puppini Sisters, a trio formed by Marcella Puppini together with Stephanie O'Brien and Kate Mullins. This is not a music blog though the song sounds great to me and the girls sing with verve and swing. It is the video by Laurie J. Proud that is short listed of course and it is truly fabulous. Not only is the song in retro style, so is the animation. With the crafted quality of the old time cartoon masters, Laurie's artwork here is sublime. In shades of brown and grey, or full glorious colour, the movie simply swings along. Whether it be the coats on the hooks, the cakes on the plate or the band on the stage - twirling the double base and blowing on the bugle with gusto - or the uniformed feet on the dance floor, there's movement aplenty and my feet couldn't keep still. This is very fine artistry of a quality not normally seen, brimming over with fun and characters bursting with personality. Laurie is one of the impressive line-up at London's Sherbet Film and Animation studio. And just a quick word about the The Puppini website – it's a joy, presented in a retro style. I especially love the cigarette cards. Set against it is a quite amazing technical achievement of a different sort. When I saw the decidely 3D, The Salmon Dance, promo I was convinced the tropical fish in the tank were real. How could these living creatures not be? In fact they are computer generated to accompany the live action of the youth who discovers that Sammy the Salmon and his cronies can actually speak. Cue some mind blowing brilliantly lit fish antics as they puff themselves up, swivel their fins and generally cavort all in perfect time to The Chemical Brothers and ex-Pharcyde rapper, Fatlip. The production company, Factory Films, used Framestore CFC to create some 400 fish, some in shoals, others developed into real characters - Fatlip the piranha, Sammy a squirrel fish and Puffer, a puffer and a porcupine fish. From an excellent interview in Creative Review I learn that some 22 people were employed on the video. The lip-synching alone must have taken an eternity. You will not see a more incandescent display this side of the Great Barrier Reef.
The winner? You'll discover tonight. At a pinch I'd go for Laurie's bugle boy because you don't see drawing of that quality every day. But it's mighty close.

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