Cartoons Underground: A Showcase of Promising Animators

The 3rd edition of Cartoons Underground held at CANVAS on 7 December held in the evening to night showcased local and international independent animation shorts to the public. The event consisted of two parts including a portfolio showreel presentation session to industry leaders by young independent animators followed by the annual festival screenings.

The Animation industry and SFX industry is rapidly increasing its footprint in Singapore. LucasFilm has set up its Sandcrawler and many other blockbusters such as Thor 2 were developed right out of the country.

The event kicked off with ‘Cartoons Underground Showreel Showdown’ which was hosted by Michael Lim, Founder of the Singapore Visual Effects and Animation group. Three young independent animators, Ishaan Kumar, Jo T. Enver and Carrick Ang who not only presented their showreels, but received inputs on how to improve them from invited industry experts Marchand Jooste, Lead Animator, at Industrial Light and Magic Singapore (Avatar, The Chronicles of Narnia), Dayne Cowan, Program Director at 3Dsense (Batman Begins, The Bourne Ultimatum) and Chung Yin Ping, producer at Omen Studios (Disney’s My Friends Tigger and Pooh).

Subsequently, the reviewers shared their experiences, insights and imparted advice to the audience. The ‘Cartoons Underground Showreel Showdown’ segment concluded with the screening of the official trailer of ‘Strange Magic’ produced by Lucasfilm Animation Singapore which was introduced by Marchand Jooste who worked on it for many years.

In addition to the showreel showdown, booths showcasing comic artist James Leong and writer FrankenDoll highlighted Perfect World Today, a ten part series first conceived at the 2013 24-Hour Comics Day. While ButoBoyz a local collective duo group formed by JiggyJiggster and MadBooCha presented abstract photography work on Trypophobia, and trippy illustrations of pop-culture icons.

Related: Singapore’s 24-Hour Comics Day gets bigger every year

Despite the heavy downpour, the first screening program commenced shortly after 7pm and played to a full-house of animation lovers, loyal fans of Cartoons Underground, and some new faces. The screening program began with Tan Wei Keong, the newly minted program director of Cartoons Underground who gave fun facts about the program list which he had curated, and pointed out the two attending animation directors, Mark Wee and Kapie.

The screening commenced with ‘Choir Tour’ by Edmund Jones, a playful short about a world-famous boys’ choir goes on a tour in Seoul. Other directors included Mirai Mizue, Dahee Jeong, Mark Wee, Lei Lei, Kapie, Daisy Jacobs, Edmunds Jansons and The Brothers McLeod were also featured.

Cartoons Underground is the leading festival in Singapore to feature young independent animators alongside internationally acclaimed animators, and expose the public to independent shorts that are not commonly seen.