The film by Johannes Weiland and Uwe Heidschötter won Cartoon d’Or 2011, the award for the best European short film of the year.
The award ceremony took place on Thursday 15 September in Sopot, Poland, in front of all animation professionals attending Cartoon Forum Polska.
The five other nominees include “Mobile” by Verena Fels, “Paths of Hate” by Damian Nenow, “Pivot” by André Bergs, “The External World” by David O' Reilly, and “The Gruffalo” by Jakob Schuh & Max Lang.
The Little Boy and the Beast seems a kid's tale which has one's own parents turn into beasts. But the reversal of responsibility that the kid has to undertake makes up for a challenging situation.
Born in 1977, Johannes Weiland is a graduate of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, where he is currently teaching animation. Since his graduation, he has worked as director-animator at Studio Soi, Ludwigsburg and Studio Aka, London. He has directed a number of award-winning films, including "Oli's Chance", which was nominated for the Cartoon d'Or 2006.
Uwe Heidschötter studied design at Schule für Gestaltung, Cologne; then graduated in classical animation from the Lycée Technique des Arts et Métiers, Luxembourg. He worked several years as CGI character animator for Ambient Entertainment in Hannover. Today, Uwe is a freelance character designer and illustrator based in Berlin. "The Little Boy and the Beast" is his debut as director.
When we began reading the script by Marcus Sauermann, we thought it was a little funny cartoon story about a boy and a monster. Then, when we reached the end of it, we understood it was a serious and truthful story about divorce. This experience of "reading the script for the first time" was an essential key for direction. Animation seemed to be the perfect medium to tell this story. In terms of storytelling, character acting, artistic and visual choices, we always tried to find a good balance of showing cartoon elements and authentic elements of everyday life.