Louisiana-based Moonbot Studios have announced a new five-minute short, "Taking Flight". The film is inspired by Antonio Pasin, inventor of the Radio Flyer wagon, and tells the story of how a small boy's boring day with Grandpa turns into a larger-than-life journey, narrowly escaping wild monkeys and battling aliens to save the universe.
"Taking Flight" relies on both 2D and 3D animation, and the animators studied the classic work from legendary artists like Chuck Jones to drive the imaginative moments of the film.
Combining many different animation techniques is something Moonbot Studios do well. For their very first project, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore", they won an Oscar in the animated short film category. The film, which was released in 2011 in conjunction with the launch of the studio itself, used a hybrid style of animation with miniatures, 2D and 3D animation.
To illustrate the story, which centered around people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor, the team created thousands of hand-painted books and constructed a full city block of the New Orleans French Quarter in 1:12 scale. The film took a year to make, during which the Hurricane Katrina happened. This had an influence on the production, as described by the directors in the making of video below.
More information about "Taking Flight" can be found here.