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The Order of Oddfish

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Countdown to San Antonio 90-Second Newbery, Part 4: Animated Entries!

January 7, 2016

This year’s fifth annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is kicking off with a special early screening in San Antonio, TX on January 9, 2016! It’s hosted by me and Texas young-adult author Nikki Loftin (The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, Wish Girl, and Nightingale’s Nest) and sponsored by Bibliotech and H-E-B Texas Grocery. This free event is “sold out,” but in my experience, only 80% of the reservations ever get used, so go ahead and put yourself on the wait list here. Or if you’re feeling lucky, just show up!

With just two days until the San Antonio 90-Second Newbery, let’s check out three great animated entries we received this year!

At the top of the post, check out the stop-motion Lego animation of Louis Sachar’s 1999 Medal Winner Holes. Such meticulous attention to detail! I love how the various background “sets” zipped on and off the “stage” set up here, almost as though we were watching a play. The voice for the intertitles of “six hours later” and “a few moments later” was strangely funny. This adaptation ruthlessly cuts out everything that wouldn’t fit in the allotted time, and yet still gets the basic story across in a way I could understand. I like how the movie sometimes used clay to represent water or dirt—resourceful! A pleasure to watch!

Another pleasure to watch: this Clutch Cargo-style animated-lips version of William Steig’s 1983 Honor Book Doctor DeSoto, by Deyanira, Jessalyn, Alex, and Katlyn of Margil Elementary School:



The idea to do it as a series of voiceovers on top of clip art of mice and a cat was fun, and it was especially good because of the lips-moving effect (reportedly achieved with an app called Chatterpix). I noticed that this adaptation switched the villain from a fox (in the book) to a cat—perhaps because that cat picture is so fierce? The script was tight and the story whipped along at an admirable pace. Great job!

Finally we have Arnold Lobel’s 1973 Honor Book Frog and Toad Together as adapted by Alvardo Garcia:



More of a puppet show than an animation, but let’s stick it in this post anyway! Love the skillfully-drawn puppets and the brisk efficient storytelling. The background music was well-chosen and the voice acting worked quite well too. I like how the “seeds” moved from Frog to Toad when Frog was giving them, good attention to detail! More good details: how Toad is reading to the seeds a book titled “The Little Seeds That Could” and that a little bubble floated in to explain what he was doing. I also liked the resourceful way this movie represented the dangers for Frog and Toad to be “brave” over: an “avalanche” of clumps of paper, a sock-snake, and the ingenious hand-silhouette of the bird!

Looking forward to seeing everyone in San Antonio on Saturday!