If you have a spare minute today, make sure you dedicate those 60 seconds to watching Mask Dog. Although clocking in at such a short running time, Victoria Vincent’s recent piece is a perfectly succinct story about a masked dog incarcerated for some unfathomable reason.
Victoria is an animator you may recognise from her short, Kittykat96, and despite a very different subject matter in this new film, many of the stylistic nuances that made us fall for the animator the first time have come into play again. For instance, Victoria’s use of perspective is a signature skill of hers, warping the shape of the door, for instance, to give a room a rounded effect, maximising the size of a character in one corner of the frame to appear intimidating, allowing the smaller character to get a little cuter.
A playful subject matter is once again prevalent in Mask Dog which is absurdly funny. In her own words, “a masked dog is arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated by an obscure and unknowable authority,” she tells It’s Nice That of its narrative. “The specifics of the crime are unclear to the dog, or to anyone else for that matter. This world is seemingly designed to alienate and punish the individuals living in it for no discernible reason.”
While Mask Dog may be an animated comment on the state of the world, Victoria plays up the absurdity by making an unassuming puppy her main character. “Such a world is suitable for its unwitting human inhabitants,” she adds, “but how will a small, pink dog fair when thrown headfirst into the turmoil?”
And, despite its short length, there are plenty of details which viewers will only spot after a few fair watches. The way the police’s badges actually read “Bro we are cops” for instance, or the craning heads and necks of the court jury questionably staring at a dog in court, but not piping up. To spot the rest, you’ll have to give it a watch.
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