Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Quintessentials: The Cat Piano

Quintessentials: The Cat Piano

Directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson, Australia, 2009, 8 minutes.

Source: Vimeo

Just as a quick recap, The Cat Piano follows a beat poet in a city of singing cats. However, a darkness falls over the city as the city’s best singing cats are catnapped to be used in a cat piano. This musical instrument tortures the cats to make them scream certain notes and as the main character discovers this horrendous machine, he gathers an army. The army subsequently attacks the machine and the human operating it to free their fellow cats.

This short which was originally posted here by Marco Zamora discussed how this award winning short uses blank dark space and limited colors to emphasize different points and to set the mood tones throughout the movie. As video editor, I completely fell in love with this short the moment I saw it because of it’s amazing use of color to emphasize a already amazing story. The best example of this emphasis is the use of the color blue throughout the entire movie. The beat poet, who is the main character throughout the story, narrates the story through a poem. However, by making almost anything blue not only to you instantly give the viewer a much more relaxed feeling but it allows the animators to focus on important objects by simply changing the color of it. This can be seen as the female cat who the beat poet is interested in is white and stands out and draws attention to her.

Also, the use of green to show the beat poet when he is sick after he learns about the cat piano and finally the red overtone to express the anger towards the piano. Simply put, color allows for the narrator to continue his poet and to emphasize his slight changes in narration to fully express the mood.

However, the only thing that I did not like about this short film is this fat cat who is colored white. Simply put, when I watch the film, it distracted me and suggested to me that he was of some importance when really he isn’t. If he had just been some light blue I think that more emphasis would be geared toward the pure white songstress. But this doesn’t change my opinion that this is a very well put together short that deserves all of the awards that it has won.


K. Tyler Christensen said...

Color is a great way to imbue a story with metaphor. Going from light to dark (things good to things bad). Additionally, the use of color in this short film to flesh out important, focal elements works well. I thought that this was one of the more brilliant animated shorts that I've seen this semester.

Marco Zamora said...

Really glad you guys enjoyed this! I was blown when I first saw it and was just taken away with its simple color palette. The poetry gave it the added feeling that I was watching some sort of fable (kind of like the Harry Potter animation we watched last class, 11/5.)

Sarah B said...

Really interesting choice of short and your commentary really brings it alive with its emphasis on aspects of colour. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention!