Idea Blog

PICK OF THE WEEK: Ripaille (a Gobelins Animated Short)

Blake Harris 09.07.2016

Have you ever looked at art from centuries ago and thought to yourself: those “simpler times” don’t look like very much fun? In Ripaille, that’s exactly what our two main characters—a pair of museum-dwellers; Ségolène and Martine—think as they observe paintings from the Middle Ages. But suddenly, much to their surprise, the art comes to life and shows them a whole other side of the Middle Ages.

Ripaille was created by students at Gobelins School of the Image, the internationally renowned visual arts school in Paris. In addition to boasting an impressive roster of alumni—like Despicable Me director Pierre Coffin and Shark Tale director Bibo Bergeron—one thing that makes Gobelins unique is the school’s pedagogical approach, which aims to integrate three pillars:

  • Creative
  • Technical
  • Professional

Without further ado, below is the animated short Ripaille

Credits: 

  • Film by Arthur Chaumay, Marion Coudert, Joël Durand, Estelle Hocquet, Yonatan Tal, Marine Varguy
  • Design by Nadège  Feyrit
  • Music by Anne De Boysson, Arthur Dairaine

3 Things We Loved About This Animated Short:

1. Concept and Point of View

The notion of artwork coming to life is not a wholly original idea, but the spin that these six filmmakers put on the concept makes it both acerbic and endearing. Typically, this trope begins with a sense of childlike wonder—a wow that the animate has come to life!—but Ripaille instead starts on a satirical note; in which one of our museum-dwellers rants condescendingly about life in the Middle Ages:

“You know that hygiene in the Middle Ages was really bad, right? Everyone died at four because of all the incest. I mean, look at their faces, it’s clear they don’t know how to have fun.”

Cleverly, the filmmakers then cut from a sequence of Middle Ages faces…

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…to the smug, even-less-fun face of our modern day museum-dweller:

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What a wonderful way to take us “into” the story; instilling us, as the audience, with a point of view as the fun now truly begins.

2. The Facial Animation

There are several instances in Ripaille, where a character’s facial expression changes on a dime. Each is executed with a careful dexterity that manages to convey a pin-pointed emotion.

Below are some of our favorites examples:

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3. Segue (and the Art of a Side Story)

I will admit that I didn’t notice this upon my first viewing, but there is a fun little side story involving a man on a segue that plays out throughout the course of this animated short…and seemingly ends in theft!

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Questions? Comments? Contact IdeaBlog@idearocketanimation.com

Blake Harris

Blake Harris

Blake Harris is the author of "Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation."
Blake Harris

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