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By midlandsmovies, Mar 23 2020 09:27PM

Lip Flaps

Directed by James Pyle


With two Midlands Movies Awards nominations under his belt, local filmmaker James Pyle heads into 2020 with a brand new regional animation called Lip Flaps.

James is director, writer, producer AND provides some voices in Lip Flaps, which again goes to show how local filmmakers take on many roles with their projects. None more so than the often solitary tasks undertaken in the tough world of low-budget animation.

In this micro-short, we open to the sound of a whirring cinema projector in 1928 with two older gents explaining how the public’s viewing interest is now with the “talkies”.

Unable to deliver on the audience’s demands, one of the men has an idea to present their silent movies in “polly-phonic” sound. Polly, you may ask?

That’s right, Lip Flaps sees a pet bird providing the voices for a black and white film replacing loving dialogue with lines like “Polly wants a cracker” and a variety of noisy squawks.

The animation has more of a somewhat computerised look at times which contrasts against the old-time vibe of the piece but the sound mix, archaic fonts and filters used for the era are spot on. James has again been influenced by classic movie-making which we saw before in his excellent crossover animation Bee-Loved (see review here)

This short is anything but “bird-brained” however, as it is cleverly constructed and at just under 2 minutes could probably have been longer in order to expand on its amusing ideas. That said, Lip Flaps doesn’t overstay its welcome and delivers a witty slice of retro animation and a top selection of bird puns for another fun day in animation parrot-dise.

Michael Sales

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