How to marginalise women like a Shakespearean

Date: 2008
Posted by: 104thouot
Cast: Mike, Bob, Jake, Steve
Credits: Made by Jake, Bob, Mike and Honeybuns
Duration: 5.29

A smart critique of Shakespearean dramatic logic (specifically Hamlet) and the treatment of women. It is made in the most rudimentary form with stick-people drawings, overlaid by commentary in the form of advice to the distracted male. So Hamlet, things are looking bad for you, but what’s worse is that your girlfriend’s going crazy. What do to?

Well, as any good Shakespearean knows, a verbose use of dialogue’s absolutely essential to the situation. Tell her your plans and hope she understands? That’s not a good idea. As everyone knows she’ll probably misunderstand because her mind works differently. Instead of listening to logic she will attempt to describe how your lives together will be much better than any silly bit of revenge your deceased father has cooked up in the underworld. To avoid this, it is always best to profess that you have never loved her…

And so on. The American 12th grade students who made this jest know the play well (though not so well that they don’t get a few words wrong in their quotations) and have thought about it acutely, albeit with all the narrowness of a 21st century sensibility. Once you have taken from Shakespeare all feeling and poetry, perhaps all you do have left are stick people.

Links:
YouTube page

Rómeó és Júlia

Date: 2009
Posted by: BalazsSimon
Cast: animation
Credits: Produced by Simon Balázs, music by Yuki Kajiura: ‘Akatsuki no Kuruma’
Duration: 2.37

This delicate piece of Hungarian animation takes the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet and through a few graceful gestures manages to express, love, freedom of the spirit, and the death that awaits the star-crossed lovers. Sentimental, yes, but in its brief way it is perfectly expressed.

Links:
YouTube page

Othello

Date: 2009
Posted by: John Carson McCarthy
Credits: Created by John McCarthy
Cast: None
Duration: 0.54

A striking animated intepretation of Othello, without characters or any action from the play. Instead, and using the Maya and After Effects animation programmes, the filmmaker illustrates Othello’s turmoil and self-destruction through images of a house collapsing and turning into a prison. A few quotations appear as signposts. Brief and rudimentary as it is, this is a startlingly imaginative piece of work.

Links:
Vimeo page

Stage

Date: 2006
Posted by: RobbieDingo
Credits: Story, animation, props, camera work and original music by Rob Wright, a.k.a. Robbie Dingo
Cast: Second Life animated figures
Duration: 3.27

This unusual and rather haunting animation was made as a Machinima movie (filmmaking within real-time, 3D virtual environments) in Second Life. It takes as its inspiration the ‘All’s the world’s a stage’ speech from As You Like It (Act 2 Scene 7), and calls itself Stage because of its stage-like setting, its reflection on the stages of life, and ‘The Seven Ages of Man’. Apart from the opening quotation and the expressed intentions of the author (whose Second Life identity is ‘Robbie Dingo’) there is little that connects the film with Shakespeare’s work, but inspiration is as important as interpretation to BardBox. A succession of fathers and sons play a circular tune on a piano, the boys growing up to be men and accompanied by their sons in their turn. All the while a toy train circles round and round endlessly. The figures may verge on the creepy, but the film has something.

Stage was Winner of the Best Film award at the June 2006 Alt-Zoom festival.

Links:
YouTube page
Internet Archive page
My Digital Double, Robbie Dingo’s blog

When Hamlet met Ophelia

Date: 2007
Posted by: lpdisney
Credits: Storyboard and animation by Liron Peer, background colouring by Shaul Dadon
Cast: Shaul Dadon (Ophelia), Liron Peer (Hamlet)
Duration: 0.48

An animation of Act 3 Scene 2 of Hamlet (‘Lady, shall I lie in your lap?’), made by a student in the third year of Animation Studies at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The animation is assured but conventional; the novelty comes in that the dialogue is in Hebrew (without subtitles). Title and credits are bi-lingual.

Links
YouTube page
Liron Peer’s website

Shakespeare Biography with Eggs!

Date: 2007
Posted by: HarassedTofu
Credits: Directed, filmed and edited by Kimberley Durkin, for Harassed Tofu Productions
Cast: Eggs (voices by Kimberley Durkin)
Duration: 5.01

Rudimentary (to say the least) animation with eggs, telling us the story of Shakespeare’s Stratford home life, starting from the point where the young Shakespeare is taken to see a play and becomes besotted by the theatre. The film ends poignantly with the death of his son Hamnet (yolk is spilt), commemorated by words from King John (Act 3 Scene 4), ‘If that be true, I shall see my boy again’, while Carmina Buruna plays in the background. Cracking.

Links
YouTube page

Romeo & Juliet

Date: 2008
Posted by: Z4Films
Credits: Produced, animated, edited and directed by Tyler Zeiger for Z4 Films. Music selections given in the end credits
Cast: Voices by Tyler Zeiger
Duration: 5.10

Claymation version of the confrontation between Tybalt, Benvolio, Mercutio and Romeo, ending in the death of Tybalt, from Act 3 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet, performed on a tabletop with toy castle and faceless clay figures in single, bright colours. A rather engaging home-made effort, with good variety of shots, if not always in perfect focus. Shakespeare’s words are delivered in earnest monotone, with the occasional ‘dude’ thrown in. Produced as a school project, but the filmmaker has gone on to produce many more such claymation works for his Z4 Films.

Links
YouTube page

Twelfth Night or What You Will

Date: 2008
Posted by: vcelloho
Credits: Character models by C. David Claudon. An Intro to Shakespeare and Company Film
Cast: Voices: Mariam Awaisi (Viola), Tommy Benfey (Sebastian), David Goff (Orsino), Carla Oppenheimer (Olivia), Jonathan Ho (Antonio, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew), Marissa Ho (Maria), Liam Hynes (Malvolio)
Duration: 5.45

A reasonably amusing spoof Twelfth Night using cut-out figures in Gilliam-style, but despite some creative touches it doesn’t really do much beyond mocking the play’s familiar highlights (though curiously showing us nothing of Malvolio’s yellow stockings). The drollest touch is to have Viola played by … a viola (disguised by a moustache). Shakespeare’s words are not used.

Links
YouTube page

Hamlet in 60 Seconds

Date: 2008
Posted by: ryanspeaks2007 (and now by <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpOtKMeGyzkhtDpbR9IBX3Q"TheWasa11)
Credits: Created by ryanspeaks2007
Duration: 1.00

Speeded-up or reduced Shakespeare has been done so often we may have forgotten what the joke was for. Is it a wish to hold up to ridicule that which the prevailing culture holds to be sacrosanct? Does it demonstrate that our familiarity with the plays is such that they need only minimal reference to trigger an understanding? Or is Shakespeare just innately funny, especially when he wants to be serious?

Whichever of these, the joke too often falls flat. Until, that is, someone does it well, as they do here. This is an unapologetically crude (in execution) cartoon that whizzes us through the salient points of Hamlet, making us laugh at just how much it manages to cram into those sixty seconds, making its point all the more by its division of the action into scenes. It also has its own nonsense way with words (“The King’s a thing with a ring on a string”). Look out for the timer in the bottom-left corner, to ensure that the video remains as good as its word. The perfect last-minute revision text.

Links
YouTube page

To Be Or Not To Be

Date: 2006
Posted by: gr8tbigtreehugger
Credits: Created by gr8tbigtreehugger. A HatHead Production
Cast: Kenneth Brannagh [sic] (Hamlet)
Duration: 3.17

Second Life-style graphics characterise this peculiar, unearthly rendition of the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy from Hamlet (Act 3 Scene 1). A head on a pedestal utters the deathless words in a whisper as the ‘camera’ swoops about and monks intone in the background. Not much of an intelligible expression passes over the face until it breaks into a goofy grin at the words, “Soft you now! The fair Ophelia!”. The animation uses 3D animation software from www.coolclones.com, and it seems to be a case of the software having driven the inspiration for the work. Some day (when virtual reality takes over entirely) everything will look like this.

Links
YouTube page