Pings

"An alternative look at parenting."

Recovered from the ashes of now defunct French studio ExMachina, this is the first short film by French director and animator Pierre Coffin to reach a wide audience. Pings is one of those rare cases in which independent artists managed to produce a CG short film during the 1990s. This was usually done within the environment of production studios since most 3D animation software with capable character animation features was quite expensive at the time. Pierre Coffin was kind to upload a good quality version of the film and make it publicly available.

The short uses a few characters, minimalist mise-en-scène and relies on sound, repetition and a close-up of the penguin’s face to transmit the emotion to the audience. Saturated colors are used (mostly cold, with contrasting warm ones), and visual rhythm is handled through the rapid bouncing movement of the characters complemented by the slow displacement of the sea waves and shifting textures of the non-photorealistic rendering. There are no camera movements.

The stark humor, all the way to the ending credits (with an effective use of out of frame space) is what gives a strong flavor to the film.

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