Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Mikey Please "The Eagleman Stag" (2010)

London's Royal College of Art is an intellectually stimulating establishment apart from being an international finishing school for the world's finest animators. Mikey Please won the much sought after BAFTA for Best Short Animation in 2011 with The Eagleman Stag and it has just come on line. In effect it is a treatise on the passage of time, featuring Peter, an entomologist in that great Victorian mould, who dedicates his life to the contemplation of ageing. We follow his footsteps and thoughts, from womb to hospital bed. Worldwide exploration leads him to the eagleman stag, a remarkable insect that seems to possess powers of regeneration attractive to the now elderly scientist. Featuring the sonorous voice of Tony Guilfoyle and the integral and wondrous music of Benedict Please, the stop motion film has a quite extraordinary beauty, the many detailed paper sets and puppets painstakingly constructed and filmed with a Canon EOS 1000D, before being worked on with Dragon Stop Motion animation software. Time is manipulated in a series of ingenious ways. There is too an underlying humour, Peter being somewhat eccentric in his obsession, but I was left with an emotional reaction as the 9 minute film drew to a cinematic, sweeping close. Also a feeling of wonder, for this hugely ambitious work is that of an undergraduate and students aren't supposed to be this good. The quality of writing is another feature that distinguishes Mikey's film. Based on his own short story it has a rational, literary tone I found most appealing.


Kimberley said...

This animation is beautiful! Outstanding if you ask me! I really enjoyed watching this I'm not surprised it won a BAFTA for best short animation.

Ian Lumsden said...

Nor am I.