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Toronto Animation Arts Festival International 2016 Preview

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Toronto Animation Festival International 2016 Preview

In its fourth edition, the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (or TAAFI) should prove to be another extraordinary event. With its collection of animated films, arts market with networking opportunities and guest speaker panels, there will be plenty to do this coming weekend. The selection of shorts at TAAFI are filled with crowd-pleasing winners this year, with the usual wide variety of animation styles. The common theme among most of them is innocence and a lot of the shorts seek to show that optimism is a better emotion than cynicism. Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi’s beautiful short The Dam Keeper was one of the highlights of the previous festival and their newest film Moom is just as touching, with a lot of warmth and Miyazaki-like imagination. The Orchestra brings us a magical world in which tiny musicians accompany elderly folks in a retirement home and director Mikey Hill and co-writer Jennifer Smith craft a sweet love story out of this concept.

The Oscar-nominated We Can’t Live Without Cosmos displays the friendship between two astronauts that goes in both humourous and surprising directions. The Casebook of Nips & Porkington is a hand-drawn fast-paced wonder with incredible sketch work and a spirited protagonist. Even at two minutes, it has an excellent beginning, middle and end. Hopefully, this short is being considered for a possible television series in the future, because the potential for more stories with the titular duo exists. Fulfilament is a different take on the Hero’s Journey, focused on a light bulb making his way through a factory-like complex. The stop-motion is clever and the story has an ending that makes the entire trip worth it.

TAAFI will also have the world premiere of the animated feature Spark, from director Aaron Woodley and ToonBox Entertainment, about a space-exploring monkey. Among the guest speakers will be renowned Disney animator Eric Goldberg, Gravity Falls writer Michael Rianda, Animaniacs artist Audu Paden, Pixar animator Allison Rutland and Hanna Barbera veterans Jerry Eisenberg, Tony Benedict and Willie Ito.

TAAFI will be held from April 22 to 25 at the Corus Quay Building and George Brown Waterfront Campus. More details can be found on their website at TAAFI.com


Stefan Ellison
THE SCENE


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