"We are trying to show animation that people wouldn't necessarily associate with the word," explains Jim Kreul, a co-founder of the Wisconsin film fest and one of programmers of Jim & Joes Animated Shorts.
It is the first year for this animation series that screened on Saturday afternoon in front of a capacity room at Cinematheque. Created by Jim Kreul and Joe Beres (who works with the film and video program at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis), their self-titled series consisted of 11 animated films running from three to seventeen minutes in length.
Their goal? To showcase the wide range of approaches used in both storytelling and abstract animation. "There's a huge explosion in animation now," says Kreul pointing to highly-rated comedic shows scattered across cable networks, "but there are also animators working with unique means of making good imagery."
So they approached this series with a wide net, seeking animators both brand new and established. One of the latter, Larry Jordon, was featured twice in Jim & Joes, his idyllic and color-saturated collages of ancient and medieval scenes and catalogue fauna set to classical music instantly recognizable to anybody familiar with Monty Python-style animation or Classic Arts Showcase on the MMSD's Channel 19.
While some of the shorts were brief and comedic (such as audience favorite Rabbit), others were more difficult, and more than a few people did take their leave from the screening.
"We want to challenge people," Kreul says, particularly in the festival setting. "People will try watching things longer than they will in other settings," he notes.
"I was impressed to see how many people stuck it out," says Beres
A complete listing (and a couple videos) of the featured shorts follows in the order of their screening: