Happiness by Steve Cutts

Director Steve Cutts’ latest short film, Happiness, is about a rat trying to find happiness and fulfillment in modern society. Via Short of the Week:

In contrast to the thematic similarities that tie together his work, Cutts’ art style has shown remarkable diversity. His early ink style has evolved in disparate directions: from bright and flat (Any Time is Ice Cream Time) to darkly graphic (The Walk Home). Where They Are Now, a satirical imagining of retired cartoon characters gone to seed, and his award-winning Moby video show a nostalgic subversion of vintage cartooning styles. Throughout it all he has experimented with limited 3D objects in his largely 2D worlds, as well as mixed-media composites. His most recent Moby video, for In This Cold Place, is a perfect summation of these interests, as he is able to consolidate all these styles into one piece, using television as a thematic lens.

Happiness adopts the graphic style of The Walk Home, but marries it to the familiar vertiginous scale of his early work that compositing in his digital workflow enables. It is marvelous art, with a multitude of shots that deserve to be framed. Each scene is overflowing with information, from detailed backgrounds, to the cacophony of rat characters layered on top, and is, to my eyes, Cutts’ most mature and impressive work visually.

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