The Fisherman by Luke Saunders

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The Fisherman is a mysterious silent animated film created by Luke Saunders. Saunders is the design director at Melbourne studio Pixel, but The Fisherman is a passion project. The film is just under five minutes long, and it can be quite difficult to understand the plot without reading the animator’s blurb. The story is set in a city of sky scrapers and flashing likes. It resembles Tokyo, maybe in a parallel universe, or in the future. Strange sea creatures inhabit the city, but, instead of simply swimming, they can fly. A scientist has been studying a specimen of these curious mollusks, until he passed away. His daughter was entrusted to keep it safe in a fish tank in the laboratory. At the same time, a man discovered another such critter, which we helps to free. Both of these mysterious creatures break loose and collide to produce a vast number of similar offspring. They leave the city transformed.

This may reveal the plot of the short film, but worry not. Knowing it will only enhance your experience of watching it. The story is quite simple, but told in a silent and somewhat abstract way. Blink, and you will miss the transitions between different segments. What is most fascinating here is Saunders’ animation. He has developed a unique style, with its simply drawn characters and neon bright colours. The linework has a wobbly hand drawn quality, which softens the harshly clashing colours. The soundtrack effectively builds tensions with a fast paced, tinkling computer sounds of the 80s. Overall, it feels at once both nostalgic and futuristic. The design work that has gone into this is truly stellar. The full video is definitely worth your time, make sure to check it out in full.