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DONKS - Felix Colgrave (2023)

A delightfully weird and beautiful film of fun creatures making up their bodies and adapting to constant change in their unique ecosystem

a pile of miscellaneous goodies lay in a pile around a figure made up of an upsidedown vase, a bow, two eyeballs, an upsdiedown shoe, and a beach ball

A film that starts with the image of countless bits and bobs from a factory being discarded into the ocean, and viscious bottom feeding creatures wanting a piece of the "donks" (so named due to Felix Colgrave's child mispronouncing his own invented word for miscellaneous toy pieces) to make up their bodies gives the audience multiple perspectives and starting points to analyze DONKS. What is obvious though is just a delightfully weird and beautiful film of fun creatures making up their bodies and adapting to constant change in their unique ecosystem. Which, since this is a Felix Colgrave film, is pretty standard, to be honest.

Using pre-rendered graphics paired with Felix's tell-tale smooth drawings such as seen in his more well-known Double King and Throat Notes (shown in GIRAF17!), it gives this really fun illusion of 3d "real life" objects interacting with the surreal and fun to make up a sort of LEGO block making challenge that Colgrave emphasizes and plays with by including some amazing sounds - also done by Colgrave.

The sound truly drives the storytelling and in this case, also the movement. The movement also screams perfect examples of various weights and "locomotion" such as the ability to show a movement cycle in a single cone object, and then the cone with a head, up until there are multi-faceted super-centipede creatures made up of lost shoes and random springs. But the sound, which gives a lot of punch to the movement, really affects where you want to look next, and you find yourself tapping along as you watch the creatures scramble around each other for the perfect faux nose.

Finally, the film emphasizes the concept of "bottom feeders" and adaptability in an environment of excess waste and over-consumption. The creature's desperate changes reflect how many times we are way too reliant on materials to showcase how we represent ourselves, and how we tend to change adapt to new trends, new environments, new people, and then, when someone comes in close to really take a look, we sometimes completely overwhelm those people and eat every scrap until they are just a dead whale at the bottom of the ocean.

Or maybe Felix Colgrave really wanted to play with that box of miscellaneous toys. Either or.

This is a great, fun film and is also the debut of Felix Colgrave and his wife Zoë Medcraft's new animation studio, Wombot Studios! We already are huge fans of what they've made, including Side Sidemi, which screened at GIRAF19 in Indie Mixtape B!

(this Monday Short was written by Theresa!)

dir. Felix Colgrave

syn: [From Youtube]

An exploration of ocean plastic, avatars and adaptive bottom feeders. The musical! Also an experiment in pre-rendered graphics.

The name comes from a box of miscellaneous plastic objects my child has. Things that are not categorically blocks or figurines or anything describable. I referred to them as "gonks", which was pronounced by my then-2-year-old as “donks". This film was me making my own set of donks, and building silly things out of them.

Made by myself over 16 months, at WOMBOT @wombotstudio (a new studio, which is me and my wife, in our garage) Funded by a lot of very lovely people on my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/felixcolgrave/