Sexually Oriented Animated Shorts
Sexually Oriented Animated Shorts
During my first visit to the DOK Leipzig festival for documentary and animation, it weren’t the animated documentaries that stood out. I was much more excited by the many humoristic and bold shorts celebrating (female) sexuality.
Visualizing the clitoris and the penis as happy animated characters, or a female’s orgasm through Norman McLaren-esque visuals, or arses and anal juice as memories of an ex-boyfriend… Today’s (mostly young and female) animation directors don’t shy away from anything. They’re using their medium to the fullest to make their audience feel as uncomfortable as can be. But the added extra dose of humor is what makes it all the more digestible.
Get ready to enjoy (mostly the trailers of) DOK Leipzig 2016’s Top 5 of Sexually Oriented Animated Films
1. ‘Pussy’ (2016) by Renata Gąsiorowska from Poland
Crowned by the public as this year’s Audience Award winner, student film ‘Pussy’ is incredibly funny, over the top and awkward, yet manages to be cute and elegant at the same time. With its pixely lines, the film’s design is crude. During the Q&A, the director explained how she doesn’t like to hide the fact that she animates digitally. We are also treated to an abstract, Norman McLaren-esque sequence to boot. Confused yet? Good! Because you’ll experience a cocktail of feelings while watching ‘Pussy’ – a most memorable animated short that made DOK Leipzig’s audience think and talk long after its eight minute running time ended.
2. ‘Le Clitoris’ (2016) by Lori Malépart-Traversy from Canada
For many centuries, the clitoris was in a limbo of condemnation and awkward silence – but all of that ends with this incredibly funny and lighthearted graduation film. Within just a few minutes, the only documentary in this top 5 succeeds in demystifying the scientific, psychological, and social view on the female body part, both then and now. By making the clitoris and penis into cute twin-like (but scientifically quite accurate) characters, any feelings of discomfort and prudery are replaced by the witty humor and confidence that the director herself embodied during the Q&A that followed the screening of her film. The director did a lot of research prior to making her film. And I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Le Clitoris’ will go viral on the internet as well as take over many high school class rooms once it is published online next year.
3. ‘Stop Peeping’ (2014) by Wong Ping from Hong Kong
A more subtle sexual short, which it makes up for with copious amounts of perviness. ‘Stop Peeping’ is an autobiographical short that tells the story of a guy with a body scent fetish, who peeks at the girl next door during a hot summer. While that’s pretty much all I understand from watching this film, the weirdness and the mouth-watering design are more than enough to keep it interesting. The design focuses on the most important elements of the characters. For the girl these are her female body parts, like her breasts and nails, whose shapes and colors are emphasized. Director Wong Ping is self-taught – he learned animation by studying an ‘Animation for Dummies’-style book while working 13-hour days in a Chinese factory. An amazing feat that might have contributed to his incredible signature style.
Not extreme enough for your taste? Check out ‘Doggy Love’ by the same director.
4. ‘Anal Juke. Anal Juice’ (2013) by Sawako Kabuki from Japan
Beautifully confusing is ‘Anal Juke. Anal Juice,’ possibly even more so than the previous film. I re-watched this film as I was writing this top 5, and it left me confused again, so I think it’s best to leave you with this ‘explanation’ by the director. “Love (or being in love) is a wonderful thing that colors our life, but love is not always visible and sometimes is vague and ephemeral. This film is filled with love and shows the state of being carried away by love. However it is almost impossible to understand each other completely even though they loved each other very much and sometimes it causes heartbreaking. I expressed vanity of such a heartbreaking love using ceaseless metamorphosis technique. And when this film is completed, my boyfriend left me.”
5. ‘Ivan’s Need’ (2015) by Veronica L. Montaño, Manuela Leuenberger and Lukas Suter from Switzerland
A little bit tame compared to the above four films, but still pleasantly unsettling and with a nice visual sensitivity. What starts out as a cute love for dough quickly turns into a subtle touchy-feely choreography, ending up in a not-so-subtle-anymore sensual adventure. Its 2D animation design with its thin lines and smooth movements, combined with soft yet bright colors, perfectly conveys a sense of intimacy to the viewer. ‘Ivan’s Need’ screened at countless festivals since its release, picking up many awards and special mentions along the way, like Anima Mundi’s Best Student Award only last week.
As a bonus, a small extra in the form of a looping animation test by the same creators.
Amsterdam-based Tünde Vollenbroek lives and breathes animation, 24FPS, 24/7. As co-founder of Studio Pupil she produces animated shorts, series, commercials and music videos. As lead programmer at the KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival she curates shorts, features and industry programs, and tours around the world. As chief European correspondent of Cartoon Brew she writes about the continent’s industry.