25 September 2014

Doron Coron (ドロンコロン, 2012)

Doron Coron (ドロンコロン, 2012) is an amusing 3-minute clay animation that Yūichi Itō (Harbor Tale, Knyacki!) produced for "The Earth and Children of Tomorrow - Pray for Happiness" campaign by TVK (Television Kanagawa).

Doron Coron comes to life after a child angel tinkles off a cloud.  This unusual heavenly elixir rains down onto a dark city street and brings to life the titular boy character made of dirt who rolls off to explore the city.  He has a pleasant interaction with a worm, and a not so pleasant interaction with bird excrement, but is cheered by the growth of a plant on his head.  The plant grows and grows and Doron Coron heads to the countryside where he enjoys pleasant interactions with the natural world. 

NHK Petit Petit Anime: Knyacki! - / Claymation
Order Itō's Knyacki!

This animated short is an imaginative celebration of the natural world that is sure to delight a preschool spectator.  The animation is accompanied by a delightful musical soundtrack and a playful voice, who speaks a nonsense language which seems to express the feelings of Doron Coron.  As is typical of Itō, this stop motion animation is very colourful and has an impressive depth of space, with just as much attention to detail paid to the background as to the foreground.

Upon winning the FutureCity Yokohama Award at the Short Shorts Film Festival 2013 for Doron Coron, Itō said of the film, “I hope viewers experience a difference in their feelings and the way they think about their everyday life as connected to the future.”  Follow Itō on twitter @knyackiii to learn about future screenings of this charming stop motion animation.

Yūichi Itō (伊藤有壱, b. 1962) was born in Tokyo and established his own animation studio I.TOON Ltd in 1998.  He uses a variety of animation techniques but favours clay animation.  He first came to my attention in 2005/6 when I saw his Puchi Puchi anime series Knyacki!  (ニャッキ!, 1995) featuring an amusing little caterpillar on the NHK.  He has also made many memorable television commercials and music videos such as the coffee chain Mister Donut’s Pon de Lion and Ken Hirai’s Kimi wa Tomodachi. In addition to his own animation projects, Itō teaches animation to graduate students at the Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai).  

Official website: http://www.i-toon.org/