Ottawa International Animation Festival

Well, the Ottawa International Animation Festival was a hit again this year attracting large crowds. As an introverted crazy person who comments continually on movies these aren’t the optimal viewing conditions, but I attended several of the events none the less.

This year there was a special retrospective called: The Horror! It was described on the site as follows: This program is NOT for the faint-of-heart, the squeamish, the easily frightened, the type who hides under the covers, and it is definitely not for kids. This presentation contains some of the most frightening animated films ever made. If you think that the only true scare is live-action gore, then you have another thing coming. Join us and see what happens when there are no limits to the imagination. NB/ The Ottawa International Animation Festival cannot be held responsible for any personal injury or illness that may result from attending this screening

I can only assume this was in jest. The session began with a classic Porky pig and Sylvester cartoon and ended with a definitely horrifying (but not the right kind of horror) song from the Wiggles (if you are unfamiliar with them, they are children’s entertainers) featuring puppets with haunting smiles and psychedelic colour patterns in the background. These were the best two of the shorts in my opinion. There were quite a few films in between with creepy dolls and eerie scenery, but nothing that was truly terrifying. This could also be partly due to my lack of understanding of the films. Several of them, unless they were included to display technical aspects of horror (mood, setting, soundtrack), were beyond my comprehension. If you’ve ever been to see the short competitions you would understand. All in all, it was a fun set of films that provided for an interesting evening.

Though it has nothing to do with horror, here is one of the shorts by the National Film Board of Canada that was a crowd favourite: Git Gob

Finally, even though horror is not always a topic at the festival, there are usually a few shorts each year (and this year a feature: Coraline) that would be of interest to any horror fan. I strongly suggest that you check out at least one of the screenings next year if you have never attended.