Category Archives: Animation in the twin cities

Animated Feature at MSP International Film Festival

Adama, an animated feature film set in Africa, is playing at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival on April 10 and 16. It leads a line-up of animated films at the festival that includes several animated shorts, including two that were part of the screening at MinnAnimat IV. Find more info here:

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Street Animation at this year’s MinnAnimate (NE Farmer’s Market)

This year’s MinnAnimate, on September 11th, will feature some of my Street Animation projects this summer, like this one from Saturday at the Northeast Farmer’s Market.

And the submission deadline is July 31, so submit today!

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MinnAnimate II and Animation Station at Northrup King during Art-A-Whirl


Northeast Minneapolis animator John Akre will install his Stop Motion Animation Station in Northrup King Room 245 during Art-A-Whirl. He will be working on a stop motion animated film in the space and invites anybody dropping by to help create the film. Join him on Friday, May 16th from 5 to 7 pm, Saturday, May 17th from noon to 5 pm and Sunday, May 18th from noon to 3 pm.

After each day’s animation activities, stay and watch a great collection of animated films. On Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 5 pm and Sunday at 3 pm, MinnAnimate II, a collection of animation from around the state of Minnesota (and Eastern South Dakota) will screen in the same space. Check out the MinnAnimate II program here.

Join John as he animates “North by Northeast,” a short poetic essay by Andy Waltzer.

For more information, visit or

John Akre is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is funded, in part, by the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

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Animator Stefen Gruber in Minneapolis

Animation Tour 2013 posterV2


Animator Stefen Gruber is in Minneapolis to present his audience-participation animation next Wednesday. Here is the time and place:

July 31 9pm, Pine Cone Castle, 2837 17th Ave S, Minneapolis MN.
This is from his press release:
Stefan Gruber will bring his live experimental animation performance across the US and Canada this summer. His three part act includes live animation, a live voice performance, and an entertaining array of audience interaction that is rarely seen elsewhere in the world of animation.
Gruber has toured since 2008 and is currently seeking venues for his summer 2013 performances.
He plans to leave Seattle on July 1, 2013 for a US route to New York with a return trip through the Canadian Territories.
The show begins with an interactive introduction in which he draws a “psychic portrait.” He invites a member of the audience to
sit with him for an oracular reading. Throughout the reading, Gruber draws a seemingly abstract animation.
This comes together as a cohesive piece when the series is replayed at the end of the session.
Says Gruber, “It’s like [I’m] drawing out the other person’s core attributes, making that person’s world totally visible to both of us for
a little while.” This segment is a way to show how ordinary a psychic connection can be, and the accompanying animation is a wonderfully unconventionalintroduction.
Next, Gruber provides a menu of his short films. The audience has the opportunity to select the work s that they would like to see.
The menu is a near comprehensive list of Gruber’s animation and film, including some pieces that are paired with live voice performances by Gruber and some that require the audience to pitch in with their own voices.
Finally, Gruber ends the performance with a finale piece, showcasing some of his most recent animation.

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Animated films at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival!


There is a great line-up of animated films at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival this month, including Persistence of Vision (see above, read about below). And also including a couple shorts from MinnAnimate alumni. For more information, visit

Alois Nebel

A reclusive train dispatcher in a small Czech town mistakes ghost trains for real ones in this darkly imaginative animated feature. While the Berlin Wall comes down, Alois Nebel is committed to an asylum, where is mind only continues to betray him. In this debut feature by Tomáš Luňák, we see a truly impressive mastery of rotoscoping and its powerful ability to convey the eerie innerworkings of Nebel’s troubled world.  (D: Tomáš Luňák, Czech Republic, Germany, 2011, Czech, 84 min)

FRI 4/12 2:10PM

MON 4/15 7:20PM

Approved for Adoption

Special advance screening!

Jung, a 42-year-old cartoonist, is one of the many adopted Koreans spread around the world who elect to perform a reconciliatory trip to their country of birth. Jung decided to return to South Korea in order to breathe the air of his home country, tread the land of his ancestors, and maybe find traces of his biological mother. Shot as a documentary, this trip leads Jung to recall – through animation – the child he once was and the winding path that made him grow up. (D: Jung, Laurent Boileau, Belgium/France/South Korea, 2012, French, 70 min)

THU 4/25 7:15PM

Canadian Animated Shorts

My Financial Career

An animated short based on Stephen Leacock’s witty account of a young man’s brush with banking. (D: Gerald Potterton, Canada, 1962, 7 min)

The Sand Castle

Eugene Fedorenko’s animated short about an unwanted baby who is passed from house to house until he is taken in and cared for by two homeless men. (D: Eugene Fedorenko, Canada, 1979, 7 min)

The Cat Came Back

This hilarious Oscar-nominated animation is based on the century-old folk song of the same name. (D: Cordell Barker, Canada, 1988, 8 min)


This animated film about the pesky blackfly is based on the song of the same title, written and sung by Canadian folk singer Wate Hemsworth, with backup vocals by the McGarrigle sisters. (D: Christopher Hinton, Canada, 1991, 5 min)

My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts

This animated film from Oscar-winning Torill Kove is a tale about her grandmother’s life in Oslo, Norway, during WWII. (D: Torill Kove, Canada, 1999, 10 min)


This Oscar-winning animated short film Chris Landreth is based on the life of Ryan Larking, a Canadian animator who produced some of the most influential animated films of his time. (D: Chris Landreth, Canada, 2004, 14 min)

The Danish Poet

This fantastic short follows Kasper, a poet whose creative well has run dry, on a holiday to Norway to meet the famous writer Sigrid Undset. (D: Torill Kove, Canada, 2006, 15 min)

The Sand Castle

Enjoy Co Hoedmeman’s short animated film about the sandman and the creatures he sculpts out of sand. (D: Co Hoedeman, Canada, 1977, 14 min)

The Big Snit

This poignant and hilarious animated film perfectly captures the intersection of a domestic quarrel and a global nuclear war. (D: Richard Condie, Canada, 1985, 10 min)

George and Rosemary

This animated romantic comedy about two golden agers proves that passion is not exclusively for the young. (D: David Fine & Alison Snowden, Canada, 1987, 9 min)

SAT 4/13 2:30PM

Childish Shorts at the Library

A FREE screening at the Minneapolis Central Library located at 300 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis of animated shorts for little ones, presented in partnership with the Friends of the Hennepin County Library

Papa Cloudy: Heartfelt Stories of a Gentle Cloud

Mustachioed Papa Cloudy cleans and mends hearts in a laundromat. Crafty stop motion animation using felt, cotton balls, and cardboard. (D: Akiko McQuerrey, USA, 5 min)

How Shammies Guessed

Colorful textile animated characters discover a mysterious red button and do a lot of wild guessing. (D: Edmunds Jansons, Latvia, 2 min)

Jillian Dillon

The ballad of Jillian Dillon, the daughter of a hippo and a platypus, filmed in an elaborate toy theatre. (D: Yvette Edery, USA, 4 min)

The Town Musicians of Bremen

A little goth girl’s strange imagination comes to life when she stays up all night and builds herself a robot-friend in the garage. (D: Jeremy Lutter, Canada, 5 min)

How Shammies Teetered

A mixed-media animation in which a live cat teaches scrappy cloth ‘shammies’ how to teeter totter. (D: Edmunds Jansons, Latvia, 2 min)

Into Spring

Rhythmic woodpeckers set a colorful Spring into motion. Drawn animation and music, nonverbal.

(D: Udo Prinsen, Netherlands, 5 min)

China Fantasia

A swirl of Chinese music, folklore, and colorful ink and wash animation. (D: Joe Chang, Bohong Qian & Fangxiao Zheng, China/Canada, 6 min)

Aston’s Presents

Eagerly awaiting his birthday, Aston creates interesting gifts to give awaySwedish children’s book. (D: Uzi and Lotta Geffenblad, Sweden, 9 min)

SAT 4/20 10:30AM

MN-Made Animated Shorts

Festival Trailer

Arguably the best in the Festival’s history, the Official Trailer of the 2013 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival features a cutting-edge animation style imagined and realized by Eric Riggs and Crash+Sues.


A short narrative about a relationship between a burly lumberjack and an unexpected friend. (D: Michelle Brost, 3 min)

Stay Home

A dog and cat live together. The sun shines down and a day goes by. (D: Caleb Woods, 6 min)

Hello, Stranger

“Hello, Stranger” is about a guy who just wants to share a bowl of soup with his shadow, but it’s never that easy, right? (D: John Akre, USA, 2012, 4 min)

Marcel: King of the Tervuren

Marcel survives the bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills and his son Max. Though blinded in one eye, he remains the King of Tervuren. Greek tragedy as acted out by Belgian roosters.(D: Tom Schroeder, 6 min)

FRI 4/19 6:30PM

The Painting

for ages 7+

Le Tableau

France – 2012 – 78 minutes

Director: Jean-François Laguionie

From famed French animator Jean-François Laguionie comes a highly original and inventive feature set in the many worlds of an artist’s oeuvre. Inside an unfinished, abandoned painting, abandoned figures identify themselves by how realized their images are. A caste system is created, and the capricious characters humorously debate the artist’s intentions. There are conflicts and strife, but also unity and forbidden love. Banished but determined to restore harmony, half-finished Claire, her beloved Ramo, and best friend Lola journey to the edge of the frame and escape their canvas. The trio stumbles into the Painter’s studio only to discover more vivid tableaus (paying homage to early 20th century Modern and Fauvist painters such as Matisse, Picasso, Chagall, and Derain). Each painting invites further imaginative adventures, all adding to the larger mystery: what has become of the Painter?

SAT 4/20 11:00AM

Persistence Of Vision

Director Kevin Schreck Attending

Striving to make the greatest animated film of all time, acclaimed and visionary animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) toiled on his epic masterpiece, The Thief and the Cobbler, for nearly three decades – only to have it torn from his hands.  Using mind-blowing animation, rare archival footage, and exclusive interviews, Persistence of Vision is a tale of art, obsession, and dreams, and the untold story of the greatest animated film never made.  (D: Kevin Schreck, USA, Canada, UK, 2012, English, 83 min)

FRI 4/19 6:30PM

Tragedy of Man, The

Az Ember Tragédiája

Adam and Eve engage Lucifer in a discussion about the best humanity has to offer, and its many pitfalls, as they travel through time and space, witnessing pivotal moments in history. 16 historical and futuristic scenes comes to life in this animated philosophical discussion, based on the famous Hungarian play of the same name.  World-renowned animator Marcell Jankovics spent 30 years making the film, creating distinct styles for each individual segment, resulting in a visually-rich tapestry that’s sure to stir the imagination. (D: Marcell Jankovics, Hungary, 2011, Hungarian, 160 min)

TUE 4/16 6:15PM

FRI 4/19 12:40PM


for ages 7+

France/Belgium – 2012 – 78 minutes

Writer/Director: Remi Bezancon

Supervising Animator: Jean-Christophe Lie (Triplets of Belleville)

Beautifully animated fable, Zarafa, was inspired by the true story of a giraffe gifted from the Pasha of Egypt to the King of France. From under a baobab tree, a village elder narrates this children’s tale: Maki, a Sudanese boy escapes an evil slave trader and befriends an orphaned baby giraffe. On a series of epic adventures from Sudan through Alexandria, Marseille, and the snow-capped Alps, the young boy and giraffe journey to France. After arriving at the Parisian zoo, Maki is determined to do everything in his power to return them both to their native land. Crossing paths with a mysterious Bedouin animal trader, an eccentric hot-air balloonist, and a beautiful pirate queen, the unlikely pair defy and outsmart hunters, slave traders, and royalty. Zarafa will entertain all ages, but also provides an accessible lens to historical dynamics between Africa and France.

Best of Fest and Children’s Jury Grand Prize, 2012 Chicago International Film Festival

Children’s Jury Prize for Best Feature, 2013 Children’s Film Festival Seattle

SAT 4/13 1:00PM

SAT 4/27 1:00PM

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