Animation is originally part of all our lives. It is the childhood gateway drug that gets everyone interested in movies and television in the first place. Then sadly most people wind up projecting a stigma onto the art form, labeling it as “kid’s stuff” and casting it aside somewhere around junior high. Maybe they will revisit it here and there in college while smoking weed and giggling their way through hours of Boomerang programming, but animated feature films will not re-enter their lives until they have children of their own and are dropping $ at the box office for the newest Pixar or Dreamworks film. To quote Brad Bird: “The way people talk about it is, well, hey, it’s a good thing I
have kids, because now I get to see this.
I reject that whole point of view – that animation is a children’s
There’s no other art form that is defined in such a
narrow way.

But you’re not “most people.” You read CHUD.

I bet you love animation. Just like Cinefamily’s Hadrian Belove, who perfectly sums up what the average schmo seems to overlook when it comes to animation:

someone puts in the mammoth time and energy required per frame to make a
feature-length animation, it’s just that much more likely to be filled
with the love and care that makes great cinema.  We make such a big deal
out of the careful storyboarding of Hitchcock and his descendants, and
the resulting elevated visual design these kinds of movies have, but
every animation is a storyboard of thousands and thousands of frames.
The most dynamic chase scenes are found in kids’ cartoons, and the most
overwhelming spectacles are found in our annual gifts from Pixar.

That is why Hadrian and Cinefamily proudly started the Los Angeles Animation Festival, which returns again this year from December 3-7 (Friday-Tuesday). And CHUD is proudly going to give one lucky reader a free pass to the festival. (details at the bottom of the page)

The festival’s line up is quite incredible, featuring several U.S premieres. Some highlights include the latest (and purportedly last) film from Little Otik director Jan √Ö¬†vankmajer, Surviving Life (Theory And Practice); the newest film from The Triplettes of Bellville‘s Sylvain Chomet, The Illusionist; a screening of the psychedelic French classic, Fantastic Planet, featuring a live-score by LA’s Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound; and a retrospective on 80’s/90’s claymation king, Will Vinton (Domino’s Pizza’s The Noid, the California Raisins) featuring a collection of his TV ads and various shorts, plus a rare screening of his freaky weird feature film, The Adventures of Mark Twain

And that’s just scratching the surface. Trailers, summaries, general info, and tickets are available here.

Here is a quick lowdown on the line-up:

Surviving Life (Theory And Practice)
(U.S. premiere!) – 7:30p

How MTV Rocked The Animation World w/ Titmouse Studio Live Panel! – 10p

(L.A. premiere!) – 12:15a

The Making of Pixar’s Day & Night
(director Teddy Newton in person!) – 11:30a

In The Attic
(L.A. premiere!) – 2p

Piercing 1
(U.S. premiere!) – 4:30p

The Adventures of Mark Twain
(25th Aniv. screening, w/ brand-new 35mm print & Will Vinton in person!) – 7:15p

Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then
(w/ live score feat. members of Fugazi & Giant Sand!) – 10p

Animation Army social hour & panel
- 11a

Will Vinton Shorts
(w/ Will Vinton in person!) – 1:45p

(U.S. premiere!) – 4:30p

(L.A. premiere!) – 6:30p

LAAF Awards Show + Fantastic Planet
(w/ live score by Jesus Makes The Shotgun Sound!) – 8:30p

LAAF Winners Show
- 7:30p

Surviving Life (Theory And Practice)
(U.S. premiere!) – 10:30p

The Illusionist
(sneak preview!) – 8p

I will be covering the festival and reporting all the goodies back to you guys next week. For those who live in Los Angeles, I hope you will come out and support this amazing art form (you’ll be supporting your brain, really).

Those who are truly committed and want to cram in a full weekend of animation with CHUD’s FREE FESTIVAL PASS, just email me at with LAAF CONTEST in the subject line and tell me about the first time you truly appreciated animation, when you saw it as something more than just moving pictures. Please only enter the contest if you are planning to see a shitload of shows. Don’t waste the pass.