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If you have not seen SKYWHALES yet, the below material might contain some 'spoilers'--giving away points in the plot, and particularly the ending. Only a few reviews will be up at any one time, to save on repetition of information.

If you run across any magazine citations or articles on SKYWHALES, please contact me so I can get permission to post or link to them.

A review by 'Mario' from the oddly named but quite helpful "Animated Lust" site:

More good info on animation at their main site.

(Starred Review: 5 stars)


Many years ago, when I was living in England, I was fortunate enough to catch a series of animation shorts from different countries. I haven't seen that many shorts, but from the few I saw, I could tell you that watching a short was a unique experience. Sometimes a short could be more beautiful than a full movie because artistic expression is greater in a short. Among the shorts I saw in the series were Babel, Satiemania, Chromophobia, and Gladis in the Underground. But despite the wonderful shorts I saw, only one stood out most in my mind. It was a vibrant, colorful short by Phil Austin and Derek Hayes, and it featured a rich world with depth, despite the movie's shortness. The name of this short was Skywhales. In a world not named and floating high in the sky is a village of alien tribal folk. Many of the males are hunters, and during the hunting season they go out in airships to hunt the massive skywhales. The father figure of the central family is one such hunter. Hunting the massive creatures is dangerous on its own, but there's also a hidden risk. From out of nowhere, a random hunter could be struck with a sickness, long after the hunt is over. He becomes cold and deathly white. Soon, his mind disappears, and he becomes nothing more than a zombie. He is then overcome with the urge to march all the way to the center of the village and plunge into a large hole waiting for him. Needless to say, the entire sequence is very chilling. After falling into the hole, the hunter emerges from the underside of the floating village as a cocoon, from which hatches a skywhale. And so the cycle continues. Despite not understanding a word of the alien language, there is a certain depth to this short. The emotions and feelings of each character could be seen and felt very clearly, and you could feel the entire world of the short, even the world not shown in short. Think The Dark Crystal, and you're not too far off. Hopefully, we'll see more works from this intriguing short's creators in the future.

Stay tuned for more reviews and comments!

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