‘Pear Cider and Cigarettes’ is a Canadian animated short film directed by Robert Valley. Although at 35 minutes it’s much longer than most short animations. It’s based on the true story of director Robert and one of his childhood friends. Robert receives a cry for help from his friend who is stuck in a hospital in China. This sets Rob down a bizarre path to bring his friend home.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able to see the full film. I was first made aware of it when it was announced as an Oscar nominee - up against Pixar’s ‘Piper’. Watching the trailer for it I was immediately struck by the look of the film. It’s a 2D animation very much in a comic book style, which is hardly surprising once you discover Robert Valley is graphic novel artist.
The contrast of colours and it’s gritty edge matches the grunge appeal for a sex, drugs & rock and roll lifestyle.
Looking at the visuals I’m transported back to my 90’s childhood. The style very much reminds me of the Gorillaz animation for their music videos. Certain shots also give off a GTA feeling - the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ game franchise. It reminds me of the still images that would be used as the loading page artwork.
I hope I can find a full length version of this animation. I love true stories. Sometimes real-life can seem the most unbelievable of all - it’s definitely got me intrigued!
(Images from 'Pear Cider and Cigarettes' short film)