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Greed Propels a Surreal Battle in Delightful Animated Short Bad Seeds

Claude Cloutier's short introduces us to a pair of dapper plants who'd rather fight over flies than work together to survive.

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Two "plants" with T-rex heads, tiny top hats, and bird and frog bodies face off in this image from animated short Bad Seeds.
Screenshot: YouTube

The set-up for Claude Cloutier’s animated short Bad Seeds is very simple: two hungry carnivorous plants wage a turf war over the flies that enter their shared airspace. But the execution—a surreal series of gorgeous drawings that change as the battle heats up—is simply brilliant (and often hilarious). Check it out!

Hat-tip to Short of the Week for sharing Bad Seeds, as well as directing us to this Sqwigly interview with Cloutier in which he explains a bit about his process: “The film consists entirely of drawings made with India ink and brushes. These were then digitized and colored by computer,” the filmmaker told the site. “As an illustrator, I like exploring different styles and techniques, but I’m particularly fond of line art ... this style is reminiscent of aqua fortis engraving, or pen-and-ink drawings in books or 19th-century newspapers. Gustave Doré and John Tenniel, the most famous illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, are major influences on my work. I decided on this type of drawing for Bad Seeds because it evokes the first printed editions of fables and classic fairy tales. My challenge with this film was to bring together the complexity of engraving-style drawings—which, by definition, are static—with the movement animation allows.”

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