Friday, 29 January 2010

Marc Craste "BBC Sport - Winter Olympics" (2010)

Should one be fortunate enough to live in Norway or Switzerland it would be sufficient to view live action coverage of the trophy cabinet to drum up interest in the Winter Olympics. Here in the UK we have a record in the championships akin to that of Kuwait - I'm exaggerating mildly but it's unimpressive. What is needed is something to fire us up for the fray. Fortunately the UK does have animators imbued with Olympian spirit. Studio AKA offered up one of their finest, Marc Craste, plus a Canadian (now living in Los Angeles), the young Jon Klassen who co-designed. Racing against bears and wolves our Olympian competes for his life and to escape the frenetic music before bowling the opposition over. Some very spectacular effects as well as realistic depiction of a number of events set in dramatic terrain are covered in glorious black and white: not a bad choice I feel for BBC Sport: Winter Olympics.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Sheridan College "Electropolis" (2009)

Ontario's Sheridan College seems to have adopted the group approach with Electropolis. Thirteen students from their excellent Classical Animation program combined to make the 2D piece. Commencing with what I take to be a reference to The Matrix we see a humanoid happy enough until called upon to work for his living. So are we all, but this guy's world is a metal box on a pole directing pedestrian traffic through a set routine of stop start. Such a restricted life style for a guy simply bursting with dance talent can only end one way and he is sent to the municipal scrapheap for an act of exuberant insurrection. But not before he has got the pedestrians gyrating however. One man can bring traffic to a standstill and save the city! The collaboration works very well with something of the hero in the little fellow. I'll go for broke and mention the entire team responsible: Dawnson Chen, Hank Choi, Giorgio Mavrigianakis, Kevin McCullough, Dimas Mohammad, Allison Neil, Adam Pockaj, Dan Seddon, Amanda Stocker, Ki Eun Suh, Adam Trout, Jason Walmsley and Debbie Yu. A team this size is endanger of squashing individuality, ironic given the theme of the piece, but the wonder is that Dan's original idea is kept within a very tight framework. The movie might well have been made, albeit over a longer period, by one animator. In the closing frames one has to fight to resist the urge to at least tap one's foot. And it's refreshing to see drawing skills to the fore, with colour flooding into the people as their tired journey to work becomes something altogether more joyful. A feel good movie to get your feet tapping.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Chris Shepherd "The Broken Jaw" (1997)

I featured Chris Shepherd’s short Ax Men in December. Interesting then to see his debut film made an astonishing thirteen years ago for Channel 4. The Broken Jaw traces the recent history of a city public house, The Broken Jaw, a hostage to fashion that changes with the generations. Zimmer frame at the ready a group of men cough and splutter their way into the bar to repeat the exercise, expelling sputum to all and sundry whilst imbibing beer and tobacco. A louder era follows, disco, karaoke, fighting, bouncers, bright lights and ejection of the regulars as the pub changes its name. Nothing stands still. A gentler age beckons but not for two sets of regulars. This really is an impressive piece of work. Sketched with a bravura freedom, the characters are set against a photo montage. Standing alone amidst the slums, the terraced houses surrounding it have been smitten by the demolition gang or surrounded by temporary structures of so-called modernity. An eloquent statement on the state of flux in today's world, overcoming the comic headbutts and spitting. It occurred to me as I watched that every generation idolises its past. Rose coloured spectacles and all that. But Chris never lets any dourness creep in. Witty and gritty, there's always time for a laugh, a karaoke knees up as the guys launching into a lively musical number. Great song too. Show stopping.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Steve Harding Hill (Aardman) "Change4Life" & "Start4Life" (2009/2010)

Change4Life is a government sponsored health programme here in the UK to the tune of £270m, designed to change the nation’s food consumption habits - reduce waistline, extend life (my free tagline, the official one being Eat well, Move more and Live longer!) Part of the £75m advertising campaign is the ninety second Change4Life launched last year by M&C Saatchi and directed by Steve Harding Hill of Aardman. The ad takes a light hearted look at mankind’s changing eating habits. At first fruit is knocked from trees before we discover the thrill of smacking woolly mammoths on the head and devouring them. Whilst the hunt absorbed energy such a solution was fine for humankind, if fatal for the mammoth. However when the present generation expend their energies chasing digital nothings on games machines, heart disease strikes. The ad is a balance of education, humour and plasticine lookalike CG. Campaigns develop and the Department of Health is now sponsoring Channel 4’s screening of The Simpsons – a Mission Impossible perhaps. The latest development of the campaign is aimed at young mothers. Start4Life has one of the shiny little characters rolled up, shaped and sent off on the journey of life. The campaign has been criticised for its generous use of taxpayers' money for a private company. If a publicly owned British bank can fund Kraft's take-over of our glorious Cadbury's chocolate anything goes. In any case the little guys and guyesses are awfully cute. Steve is one of those Royal College of Arts people, graduating in 1995. He joined Aardman in 1999.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Carlos Stevens & Brian Kinkley "Toumai" (2008)

Toumai is the 2008 thesis film of Carlos Stevens and Brian Kinkley from the Art Institute of Portland. Not without ambition, it concerns the destruction of mankind’s natural habitat and its replacement by high rise buildings and pollution. This is not the most original of themes though given an unusual slant in that mankind is represented by one man who emerges fully clothed from the ocean, rampages through a paradise of plants and flowers before attempting an Icarus flight, laden down with the weight of the world in all its ghastliness. Icarus needed the sun to melt the wax: here the heat spews out from chimneys. An unusual mix of 3D and stop motion with an excellent score from McCay Marshall, the short has appealing moments, for example as the buildings career upwards like pop ups or the guy clutches a flower, low budget Avatar style (though not necessarily any the worse for it.) A short, enjoyable film with comparatively long credits! Bent Image Lab and Sarah Hulin provide the common threads, linking to last week’s post on Rob Shaw, Sarah being involved in the stop motion work with both films. Toumai, by the way, is the name given to the 6,000,000 year old skull of our earliest known ancestor discovered in Chad. In that central African country Toumai meant "hope of life".

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sean Pecknold "While You Wait for the Others" (2009)

Writing about Grizzly Bear a day or so ago reminded me of a previous video for the band -While You Wait for the Others - that I had made brief notes about in September but never got to write up. I wrote at the time: stop motion/intricate/ Jan Švankmajer/ Brothers Quay. In truth the collection of objects, time pieces, dolls and various replicated images, do not make strictly literal sense but then nor do the lyrics. Concrete nouns, as I learnt at school, are entirely absent, it being left to the director to interpret mood and meaning. Therefore a general theme of waiting for answers is communicated by man garbed in fencing gear, parakeet atop helmet, stroking white rabbit. Compelling visually and culminating in a scrapheap of the discarded detritus of existence, the fencing mask amongst them. Rabbit and bird presumably have fled. Life is like that, the music video a Samuel Beckett drama at speed. The director, Seattle resident Sean Pecknold, is a man known to me for a memorable use of claymation in his White Winter Hymnal, a music video for Fleet Foxes followed by Mykonos, a cut-out piece for the same band. I’m sure I shall write a few words on them. And that review I promised on Friday was delayed because of a spot of trouble with my laptop. I've now bought the diminutive Samsung N220, a thing of beauty and this was my first post using it.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Rob Shaw "The Machine" (2009)

I'm pleased to see DeK is back again in full swing. However No Fat Clips has a collection of downloads that would make my internet connection implode were I to download the colossal files he has available. Of greatest interest to me is Rob Shaw’s The Machine via Bent Image Lab. Primarily stop motion, featuring a puppet/robot cobbled together from the workshop's detritus it looks rather fetching with half human mask, metallic cogs and timepiece for a heart. A fable for our times, the robot is created Frankenstein-like and then proceeds to destroy a collection of masters, escalating up the masters tree until he goes global. The narrative from Andrea Schuch is succinctly written, delivered with a suitably dispassionate voice. I just have a feeling, when I think of such things, that I’d rather inhabit a state with a strong defence given the might is right gist of the film and mankind’s rapacious tendencies. A paper king versus metallic robot with sickle in hand is no contest. Not that one should take things too seriously. In this accomplished film, Rob is careful to distance audience from bedlam by the use of theatrical drapes, a fairground, nickel arcade and Terry Gilliam-like graphics. For the director's own viewpoint, there is a Vimeo link that I wish I'd read before writing the above, having just Googled prior to clicking the blog's publish button. At least director and I agree it is a fable. Sarah Hulin assisted with the animation leading me as smooth as silk to tomorrow’s short.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Tex Avery "Symphony in Slang" (1951)

Made 59 years ago, Symphony in Slang takes the young fellow John up to the pearly gates where his idiomatic manner of speech bewilders St Peter and that famous dictionographer, Noah Webster. The short is a literal take on figurative language, essentially a collection of visual gags or puns, directed by Tex Avery, with design and layout by Tom Oreb and script from Rich Hogan. Ward Jenkins' blog has a good article on the movie including fascinating frame by frame presentations. Thus, in consecutive frames, as boy meets girl - my breath came in short pants, I got goose pimples, I was all thumbs, Mary’s clothes fitted her like a glove, she looked mighty pretty with her hair done up in a bun, she had good looking pins too…. and so on. The art of course lies in sequencing the gags in a reasonable manner, something that the script manages well enough, steaming through quick changing locations. His limited animation generally lacks detailed backgrounds or complex animation of much of Avery's output, with camera work being more straightforward for example. Notice the trendy young man, dashingly attired. As with fashion, some of the slang may well have dated but the comedy itself has weathered the sixty years since it was made. The battery of gags is sustained for the seven minutes or so. And how did Tom end up at the gates of heaven? (He died laughing.) Take care.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Allison Schulnik "Hobo Clown " (2008)

There is something satisfyingly fundamental about the claymation piece, Hobo Clown, from Los Angeles painter and film-maker, Allison Schulnik. The plasticine figure is thumbed and kneaded, squashed, flattened, stretched. An interesting choice of a clown, that figure capable of bouts of the manic and the depressive. Here, in particular, the eyes and smile of the figure are manoeuvred into shape, expressing the emotions. (A hobo clown of course must be prone to even more extremes of emotion.) The mesmerising colour mixes of the clay work are very much like her sumptuous, heavily textured oil portraits available from her website. The music of Grizzly Bear both supports and is supported by the animation. Indeed so taken were the band with her work that they asked the artist to produce their official video, Ready, Able, selected from their latest album and something to be reviewed here very shortly. Allison has an exhibition of her paintings building upon Hobo Clown at the Mark Moore Gallery, entitled Home for Hobo A graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, Allison offers something different and rather lovely.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Elizabeth Hobbs "The Old, Old, Very Old Man" (2007)

It is 1635. Charles I is feeling rather old, enfeebled, lacking in energy, out of sorts. Perhaps the visit of the world’s oldest man, 152 year old Thomas Parr, will revive him. Courtiers are despatched to persuade the old fellow to attend court. But Thomas has not reached an astonishingly ripe old age beholden to every Tom, Dick or Harry and summarily rejects the appeal. Couriers, if they are to remain courtiers, are not so easily dissuaded however and eventually the old man is transported in his bed to court where his arrival is celebrated in great style, much to his eventual discomfiture. Elizabeth Hobbs has her own style that is as distinctive as it gets. The Old, Old, Very Old Man - negotiated via her Flash website (Films/Archive) - is drawn in blue ink on white tiles, relevant in that it was inspired by Delft pottery at the British Museum. The result is a combination of the most delicate drawings with a humorous tone that is both sharp and light, as exemplified in the reaction of the monarch as his guest does the human equivalent of the parrot dropping from the perch. Or the response of Thomas to the courtier's invitation to attend the palace: Posh voice: "You have been summoned to the court of King Charles." Thomas's reply as he sips his tea is a perfunctory one - "No!" Lest I forget, the explanation for the old old old man’s longevity is something like head cool, rise early, early to bed. Edward Fox provides the marvellous voices whilst Tim Olden recreates the music of the era. History and a treat. Lizzy was educated in Scotland and now lives in East London. As well as her freelance work she is a tutor at Anglia Ruskin University.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Martin & Line Andersen "New Zealand Book Council: Going West" (2009)

New Zealand Book Council: Going West is an ad that certainly makes an impact: Where books come to life, we are informed in a dramatic realisation of the 1993 novel Going West from one of that country's leading novelists, Maurice Gee. Produced by Colenso BBDO and made at the London based Andersen M Studios, Line Anderson designed and animated the stop motion piece, brother Martin Anderson contributing photography and lighting. Again on credits, it is impossible to miss the sound design of Mikkel Eriksen whose complex, multi-track recording of the narrator's voice is given echo and reverberations to accompany the arresting visual concoction. There is something exciting about seeing the effects of an unseen razor sharp knife slice through the folded pages of the hardback, with houses, trees or suburban fences popping up in classic flip book style. Unlike some recent imaginative CG effects featured here, this is a more traditional technique, the precision of the camerawork and sculptor shown off to magnificent effect. The intention behind it all was to force the Kiwis to abandon the dark arts of the rugby field (allowing we poor Brits to occasionally win a game) and get reading. The link is to Vimeo where I first saw it; a YouTube link has had hundreds of thousands of hits so as usual I'm late to the party. The siblings both studied in their native Denmark and here in the UK. Martin lectures at two of the most prestigious institutions, the University of Brighton and Central St Martins.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Nico Di Mattia "Ham" (2009)

I have been working all day for Adobe at London's Olympia and am dog tired. Maybe as tired as a pig. Whatever, I Ham not entirely sure I like Nico Di Mattia's hand drawn piece albeit I ham impressed. For labouring the point I apologise but pigs is pigs. I know they are intelligent - I've lived on a farm - but they do behave in a reprehensible manner. Here they commence tea and cup cakes with the sweetest cherries on the top, all well mannered, porkies and cakes, and then the pigs just lose it big time. A bit of spit swapping fails to make amends and then they go for the pork chop. I was once bitten by a pig. Nico is an exceptional artist, his talent for portraiture is breathtaking really, particularly viewed as speed painting on YouTube via his website. But I mustn't leave the short without noting the splendid sound effects. Turn up the volume and then apologise to the household. Funny and gross.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Lucas Martell "Pigeon Impossible" (2009)

Walter is a rather suave if initially incompetent secret agent with the sort of briefcase hardware to destroy continents. When his war machinery is requisitioned by a feral pigeon he is set the task of retrieving said hardware from a bird unlikely to be dissuaded from worldwide mayhem by anything other than a bagel. Lucas Martell’s website lists the growing number of awards the 3D movie Pigeon Impossible has obtained, not the least of which is the number of YouTube hits gleaned in a very short period of time – no less than 3 million since its release in November of last year. That's huge, almost Avatar standard! A very funny premise altogether. One is royally entertained with the director's slick mastery of CG. It is essentially a fun/action film with obvious appeal to a mass audience. Yet for all the tomfoolery with the box of tricks, rockets going off, breathless chase into the sky, the hero of course is the damn bird. And for all that wizardry notice that the pigeon behaves like a pigeon. Without the mess on my windowsill.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Jérémy Clapin "Skhizein" (2008)

Made in 2008, Jérémy Clapin’s Skhizein was commended in the Oscar deliberations whilst lesser films were nominated. Had I not bungled my own reviews here last year Jérémy’s remarkable film would without question have made my top ten, and at the higher end. (I deferred writing a review as at that exact time Jason Sondhi from Short of the Week had written a typically intelligent article.) Whereas Skhizein undoubtedly has comedic elements, I found it mainly touching, a metaphor for a range of mental or physical illnesses - in fact it refers to one specific condition suggested by the title. In his earlier movie, Une Histoire Vertébrale, the French director created two characters with physical abnormalities, a broadly comic tale that nevertheless made its point with compassion. In this later movie Henry is distanced 91 centimetres from himself after being hit by a meteorite. Speaking to his psychiatrist, the character explains his problems coping with the affliction. We see the care with which the man has organised his life to cater for those vital centimetres. Henry’s world is one of blueprints, shadowing the real world with delicate, measured lines. Of course there is humour as he travels outside his car or urinates to one side of the toilet. But essentially, through the conceit, Jérémy’s 13 minute film reveals the loneliness of a man distanced and alienated from society, losing his job, jettisoning friends and relatives, or being discarded. Appropriately, the colours look like they have been left overnight in the rain, whilst the director cleverly deploys his 2D character in a 3D world. A number of qualities appear unrewarded by those who make judgements on matters Academical. First is the telling humour and story-telling from the moment Henry appears to be floating in the surgery. But perhaps more notable is the sheer intellectual feat of a director rigorously pursuing a central tenet, exploring a fractured world with a remarkable coherence.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Yasmeen Ismail "Love Triangle" (2007)

"Hey, Fatty, that boyfriend of yours will leave if you eat so many samosas." Advice like this is enough to drive one to cottage cheese crisp breads. Except here it doesn't. From the moment at the airport when our girl arrives back to her doting partner, after visiting relatives in India, something of a crisis in their relationship is triggered. The problem in the aptly named Love Triangle is that the girl has changed shape. "You look different."/ "No I don't." One of the funniest lines lines in the piece occurs as she switches channels using the remote control, couch potato style, whilst he washes up and attempts to raise his concerns only to flounder with the inept, "I've got your crumbs in my chest hair again." The three minute short is wittily scripted by director Yasmeen Ismail. Alan Davies and Katherine Parkinson provide the lovers' voices, Peter Baynton assists with the animation, Christoph Steeger the artwork. Mick Cooke's music adds to the very considerable charm of it all. With simple, amusing hand drawn figures, the domestic balance in a modern relation is deftly presented, the guy being such a gentle, modern man, the girl a modern woman -though personally I'd put a padlock on the samosa cupboard. Another from the Channel 4 MESH series then and a favourite for the humour, character voices and most artful design. Yasmeen is one of the leading lights over at Sweetworld.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Alexandr Menshikov "Diglator"

Digital Cake is a site new to me in which Russian films with English subtitles, including animation, are screened. It is an invaluable source. In fact, today's movie, Diglator by Alexandr Menshikov, was one I already had earmarked for review before the discovery. The film is inspired by Solaris, a science fiction novel by the Polish writer Stanislaw Lem, exploring the difficulties of communication between humans and aliens. Alexandr's short is set in an industrial landscape that dwarfs the solitary man striding enigmatically through the innards of a factory, the size of which almost overwhelms him. There appears to be some impending sense of crisis. When the walker does meet with a solitary worker their conversation, about a fault in a reactor, is succinct and transactional, almost as if the scale of the place overwhelms normal speech. The ultimate destination for our man is appropriately enough a giant robot that mirrors on a vast scale the actions of its now master who strides purposefully out into a windswept planet. A bleak perspective then but rather fetchingly drawn given that one is dealing with steel structures, ventilation fans and suchlike. In particular, the director uses a dour colour palette with interesting textured effects and use of shadow. I have been unable to discover anything about the director. I am once again indebted to pavlovich74.
July 2012: I have just received an email from Alexandr Menshikov's sister Katya who lives in the UK. Her brother lives in Siberia and animation is his hobby. She should be proud of him. He has great talent.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Mark Nute "The I've Spied of Beards" (2007)

Having been stuck in snow digging my car out for a couple of hours yesterday in an ill-advised excursion to the country, what I needed was a robust beard to ward off the cold. Mark Nute's amusing short, The I've Spied of Beards, is just the ticket as Benny and his faithful cameraman Chet go beard spotting, that little known British pursuit for anoraks everywhere. The voice of Kevin Eldon is perfect for the beard collecting zealot whose prime ambition, for 1000 points, is to collect the mythical Beardlaclama with facial hair positively bristling with vigour. In search of this near deity, Chet and Benny tour the globe, cataloguing their expanding collection. Some of the humour is very British, as are some of the famous bearded ones captured and cataloged. Mark was given four months' work at Bradford's National Film Museum as Channel 4 Animator In Residence, from which emerged this little delight featured on the channel's 3 minute wonder slot. It certainly made my classes laugh at Christmas. Best you've shown us, Sir! was one response.

Friday, 8 January 2010

"Archer" F/X (2010)

Archer is a new adult series from F/X. Before the details of what, how and, I guess, why, here's a sample of the humour. Sterling Archer, super spy and ladies man, is in bed with sultry Agent Lana Kane. That's amazing, she murmurs in admiration and pleasure, but is interrupted by a cell phone from his mum just as they are about to watch porn together. I can't believe you, she complains, but is told to turn it on anyway: "I can do both." If this is your cup of tea - and it made me laugh - then tune in on 14th January at 10:00 pm ET/PT. (I'm not so sure of when that time applies here in the UK but I'll be trying around then.) I'll just give you a taste too of the press blurb. "Archer is an animated, half-hour comedy set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS), a spy agency where espionage and global crises are merely opportunities for its highly trained employees to confuse, undermine, betray and royally screw each other." It is tightly scripted, quick-fire witty and not as crass as some of the coarser animation aimed almost exclusively at juveniles, very well voiced by an experienced cast and there is a vitality about it, certainly judged by the trailers I've viewed. The artistic style is described by the artists as realistic, 1960's comic book style. The animation itself is best considered minimal with lashings of lip sync and well drawn. To view you'll need, I think, to install their station's movie player. Just a thought - I hope the episodes are available here in the UK. And to reiterate, it's aimed at mature audiences. I'll just about qualify. The image below is worth a click, revealing the artist's method. I hope the venture is successful and wish an enthusiastic team good luck.

Ellie Land "Die andere Seite" (2007)

Documentary is a form of film making I have not covered much on the Animation Blog. The Berlin Wall existed from 1961 to 1989, grey concrete, graffiti covered, dividing Germans: a monstrosity stained in blood. Had I the wit I should have published this blog on November 9th, the twentieth anniversary of the wall being breached. With lean simplicity Die andere Seite (The Other Side) delineates those heady days in the 1980s when the wall came down, though elation is to an extent tempered by time. Royal College of Art student Ellie Land records the memories of four Berliners from both sides of the divide. One man remembers being led towards the West by his mother just as it was going dark "and everything was really light, you know." The shops were lit up like a circus and you could eat so many things, even eat on the street. For a woman recalling her first impressions of East Berlin, it was just like she had imagined: "everything was really grey and really brown and all the colours were really dark because it was winter..." The children (now adults) explain their fantasies about the wall, their fears, their lack of comprehension of what lay behind. The narration is so succint it verges on the poetic. The transformation of East and West Berlin is likened by one observer to blood being transfused into the body. The visual images and animation are simply conveyed: the child looks out from a train at kilometre after kilometre of the Wall, guards stationed on the towers; a girl's perspective is via her television screen, plugged in to the wall itself. Colour is used sparingly. Nevertheless, as with the boy's first view of the West, it has impact. As a contrast, try Ellie's live action film about the Angel of the North, Far North, sponsored by Gatehead Council in the North East of the UK.


Thursday, 7 January 2010

Isolda Solodova "Spider" (1994)

Given that the weather meant I missed yesterday’s judging panel for the 2010 British Animation Awards (where one of my co-judges was to have been Joanna Quinn, ironically also beaten by the snow) here is Spider, a basically wintry piece by Isolda Solodova, one of the animators responsible for Alexander Petrov’s 2006 film My Love, about which I intend to write shortly. A product of the Sverdlovsk Film Studio, the short is as atmospheric as one can find. Within a decrepit shack lives a spider that, apart from eating flies, spends most of his time looking at the snow from the window. His world changes when a beautiful young woman moves in, inspiring his big eyed frame with thoughts above his station. Is he a frog in search of a kiss from a princess? Can he spin a silken web beautiful enough to ward off the broom? YouTuber pavlovich74, that remarkable purveyor of quality Russian animation, brought it to my attention as a “little gem”. In its dark way it is, as the wintry landscape and drab interior is introduced to Spring by a shapely, seductive maiden, much admired by our arthropod. Those 90% of women who allegedly suffer from arachnophobia will sympathise with the lady’s plight. Those 100% of men who have desired the unobtainable will have feelings aroused. I prefer spiders to flies.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Wyld Stallyons & Bob Staake "Struwwelpeter: The Story of the Thumb Sucker" (2008)

A couple of posts last year have highlighted rhymed verse. Here's another: Struwwelpeter: The Story of the Thumb Sucker with a fabulous Tom Waites track and the voice of Donovan Christian-Cary. Warnings by parents to children are, to my certain knowledge, often ignored by their offspring. They should ignore mummy or daddy's intructions at their peril. Take the simple directive not to suck one's thumb. Because "the Great Tall Tailor always comes to little boys who suck their thumbs." The problem with youth today solved in a couple of snips. Chris Sayer, Jason Arber, Alex Amelines and James Wignall from Wyld Stallyons made the short for Bob Staake. They're right, you know, children should listen.