After watching the cartoons in week five, I felt I needed to use “Rejected” as my post for this week. Many of you might already know about this work, or maybe none of you have heard of it before. Either way, it is a wonderful piece that makes me laugh every time I watch it.
“Rejected” is an animated short comedy film created by Don Hertzfeldt. Don released this fictional story of a failing animator at the San Diego Comic Con in 2000. Since then, “Rejected” has become a cult classis that has won 27 awards from film festivals around the world.
Before “Rejected”, Hertzfeldt was offered many commercial jobs by television companies. Don being the anti-corporation artist that he is, turned down all of the offers he received. According to Wikipedia, he would joke about making the worst cartoons he could for these companies, and seeing if the companies would air them. This became the bases for “Rejected”.
What attracts me at first is the humor. (Everything I have seen of his work has made me fall to the ground laughing.) I would be lying if I said his style did not play a part in my liking of his work. His use of pen and paper and shooting with a 35mm camera gives his work a more traditional animated look that just pulls me in. I find it interesting and awesome that Hertzfeldt can create such a striking piece by himself while companies like Pixar use hundreds of people to make their blockbusters.
In 2004, the Internet Movie Database ranked “Rejected” 3rd best short film of all time. When looking at the awards it has won, its cult following, and the many pop culture references it has had, I would say that “Rejected” has been a very success piece.
In an interview, Hertzfeldt said, “I don’t know why these things are always framed as a big dumb cage match: Hand-drawn versus computers, film versus digital. We have over 100 years now of amazing film technology to play with, I don't understand why any artists would want to throw any of their tools out of the box. Many people assume that because I shoot on film and animate on paper I must be doing things the hard way, when in fact my last four movies would have been visually impossible to produce digitally. The only thing that matters is what actually winds up on the big screen, not how you got it there. You could make a cartoon in crayons about a red square that falls in unrequited love with a blue circle, and there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house if you know how to tell a story."
Do you agree? Does it matter how we get to our final work?