David Knight - 7th Oct 2008

Deep in the jungle on a dark, starry night, lives a saucer-eyed furry creature, whose sense of ownership of a firefly leads him on a extraordinary journey of discovery and, er, enlightenment.

This is an gorgeously animated, wonderfully paced, very sweet narrative by New York-based directing collective Mixtape Club - that's Chris Smith, Jesse Casey, and Michelle Higa - who say on their website that they drew inspiration from the likes of BBC's Planet Earth, "foliage plucked from the streets of New York City", and the work of Russian animator Yuri Norstein.

People have, perhaps understandably, also likened the video to Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are - the subject of Spike Jonze's next movie. That's led to Mixtape Club recently adding this message on their website.

"We're not sure exactly how it got started, but a lot of people have been drawing connections between our MMJ video and Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are" feature. In the blogosphere echochamber, this has gone from 'reminiscent of' to 'directly inspired by' to 'in a cross-promotional agreement with.' We're huge fans of Spike's and Maurice Sendak's work, and during the pre-production phase of this video Jesse read Sendak's book (yes, the whole thing all by himself), but that's about the extent of the relationship between our video and Mr. Jonze's movie. We hope that clears things up for everybody."

Guess so. Though the fact Spike's Sendak movie has a release date of October 19th 2009 should alert people that this has nothing to do with it...

BUG Fact: This is the second video shown at BUG by the New York-based (predominantly animation) directing collective Mixtape Club, the first being the wonderfully wacky TV on the Radio's Me-I, in BUG 06.

David Knight - 7th Oct 2008

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