Friday, May 25th, 2018
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1150 CANYON ROAD: This Isn’t Pixar, Kids.

Design studio Art & Graft have injected a welcome sense of humour into 1150 Canyon Road, a dark and stylish crime animation. The London-based animation team, led by creative director Mike Moloney, have done a stunning job of throwing together a narrative and several brilliant characters in just two and a half minutes and a single shot. Combining the paranoid, '80s

Design studio Art & Graft have injected a welcome sense of humour into 1150 Canyon Road, a dark and stylish crime animation.

The London-based animation team, led by creative director Mike Moloney, have done a stunning job of throwing together a narrative and several brilliant characters in just two and a half minutes and a single shot. Combining the paranoid, ’80s crime caper themes of L.A. Confidential and Casino with a quirky, boxy animation style, 1150 Canyon Road is a quick guilty pleasure ideal for your coffee break. It’s not often you see swearing and violence in a seemingly innocent animation, but the studio hasn’t skimped on the body count here.

The film focuses on a character in the eponymous house, hurriedly packing his things in time to catch a flight. Thanks to a telephone conversation in the form of a voiceover, we find out pretty quickly that we are well within crime caper territory. With fantastic regional dialogue and a great heist movie sensibility, the film plays with a great balance of violence and humour. The brightly coloured animations wouldn’t look out of place in a commercial (indeed, the studio also worked on an inflight safety film for Virgin Atlantic) but when thrown into a film with gunfights, robbery and murder it doesn’t seem out of place at all.

It’s extremely refreshing to see this genre come to life as an animation. The short film market is crowded with dark, moody dramas wallowing in nihilism and seriousness, but 1150 Canyon Road is none of that. It’s exactly what a short film should be. It’s fun.

Art & Graft is best known for their commercial animation and motion graphics work, but occasionally they wander into the short story field with animations like this one. Always brilliant, always beautiful, they’re definitely worth checking out when you get a chance.

What do you think of Art & Graft‘s short animation? Let us know in the comments.

(top image source: Art & Graft Studio)

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Opinions expressed in our articles are those of the authors and not of the Film Inquiry magazine.

Thomas is a freelance writer and video editor who spends most of his time complaining about British weather.

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