A damsel in distress gets undressed when a man from the mid west puts to rest a world that’s obsessed with the priceless, also know as, “The Shiny.”
You should be able to tell just from the amount of rhyming in the premise alone that ‘Shiny’ is going to be A LOT of fun. Brought to life under the expansive imagination of Daniel Cloud Campos and in partnership with Blue Tongue Films producer Spencer Susser, we are introduced to a mysterious hero (who has something of a Michael Jackson in Moonwalker quality to him) who intervenes in the purse snatching of a young lady. In the course of coming to the young lady’s aid, the titular ‘shiny’ is revealed, thus beginning an absolute free-for-all of insane characters trying to get their hands on the film’s McGuffin.
The first thing that will probably strike you about the style of animation used is that the characters themselves are invisible, identifiable only through the clothes that they are wearing. The genius of this method becomes apparent once events really start to kick off and especially at the end of the film (which we won’t spoil for you). The great thing about animation as that the possibilities are endless in terms of how you present your story and the backdrops that you use to do it. The otherworldly nature of the art form immediately conditions the audience to accept environments far removed from their own reality. This advantage could not be more in evidence with this film as the world that we are introduced to is set against a hardwood floor. In addition, the characters consisting only of their clothes, sets a style in which Campos only physically includes the objects that he wants us to see. This method allows him to institute action choreography of fairly extreme violence, without it seeming very violent at all.
Campos, who handles the primary animation, quite rightly decides not to hold back in terms of the extremity of the action or the apparent superhuman ability of the blue-suited hero. Even before the story fully gets going, we see the hero able to kick a can off of the street, through the clouds and into a recycling bin. This one act, over the course of about two seconds, establishes the strength and morality of our hero as well as telling the audience what to expect from the style of the film. This is a very prudent way to jump start the film as the whole thing is over inside of 4 minutes.
A perhaps unsung hero in terms of what makes this film work is the sound design. Adding to the surreal style of the film as a whole, the dialogue consists primarily of squeaky or muffled voices, only gaining clarity when the characters proclaim the eponymous “shiny”. In addition, the inclusion of a great atmosphere track, psychologically fills in all of the surroundings that we are not physically shown.
The simplicity of the style of animation provides an effectiveness that hides just how complex a task making this film must have been. The imagination and innovation in the choreography alone is enough to impress, however the entire film being played out in one fluid shot brings home the incredible technical and artistic standard being brought to the table.
Few filmmakers can entertain to this level in such a short running time so it is to the credit of all involved that ‘Shiny’ is guaranteed to leave you with a huge exhilarated smile.
Studio: Blue Tongue Films
Duration: 4 mins
Suitability: Mature (scenes of simulated violence)