The Animation Show 2004
René Walling · December 18, 2003 | "As animation continues to be plagued as the single most misunderstood film medium, the animated short film is sadly undervalued and underexposed in American cinema"—so goes part of the introduction to The Animation Show, a theatrical animation festival touring North America that brings animated shorts to the big screen.
Mike Judge and Don Herzfeldt have decided to do something about this sentiment by putting this festival together. A good mix of techniques is present, and worldwide animation is well represented with films from Canada, Japan, the UK and Germany, among others. Themes and styles were also varied and in that respect, The Animation Show lives up to its hype.
Most memorable for me was the excerpt from Disney's Life on Mars, a fascinating look at rarely seen animation, unlike anything else Disney has ever done. The price of entry was worth it for that alone. Other high points included Das Rad (The Rocks), an animated film showing us a new perspective on time, George Schwizgebel's La course à l'abime, Cordell Barker's Strange Invaders and Tomek Baginski's The Cathedral.
In short, to fulfill its mandate, The Animation Show needs to lead and not follow.