ANIMATION BREAKDOWN: Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat In Space + Meow Mix (feat. "Cat Soup")

Animation Breakdown’s “Meow Mix” – 7:30pm
From the walls of the Egyptian tombs to Eliot’s Mr. Mistoffelees, Felis silvestris catus has inspired artists across every possible medium for thousands of years. So it’s no surprise that animators have likewise been giving motion to meows since the earliest zoetropes, and that many of our most beloved characters, from Felix to Fritz, have been cats — no matter how many theme parks that mouse may lord over. Tonight, we fondly gather feline creations from all around the world, both classic and contemporary. Among the evening’s coterie: a daydreaming Polish puss who yearns to fly with the birds, a particularly insistent Canadian kitty, a blue-eyed Czech “kocoura” crafted out of yarn and string, and a selection of animation historian Jerry Beck’s favorite cat’toons. Closing the mix is the mindblowing cult favorite Cat Soup. Inspired by the totally singular, cat-centric work of manga artist Nekojiru, this wordless mini-opus tells the hallucinogenic tale of an anthropomorphic kitten’s surreal voyage, on a quest to retrieve his sister’s soul. Unlike any anime before or since, and long out of print on DVD — not to be missed!

Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat In Space – approx. 9:00pm
Imagine a film that’s equal parts Astro Boy, Hello Kitty and David Lynch — add a healthy dose of punk ‘tude, intergalactic futurism and out-for-blood cultural satire — stir in a plot inspired in part by Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49″, and top it off with a sexy, foul-mouthed feline heroine — and whatever you’ve got in your head isn’t 1/4th as crazy as Tamala 2010. Cigarette smokin’, kickass kitty Tamala is fed up with the day-to-day humdrum, and extends the proverbial feline finger to her corporation-commanded hometown. Despite the wishes of her human foster mother (who perpetually plays video games in the nude with a giant snake wrapped around her), Tamala takes off in a personal spaceship bound for her birthplanet, only to unravel ties between herself, an ancient cult, and the postal service mega-conglomerate Catty & Co. — except, it’s a whole lot weirder than that. Crafted by a mysterious duo known as t.o.L. (“trees of Life”), and unleashed in 2002 — the same year in which Pixar released Finding Nemo, mind you — Tamala still stands today as a beacon of how far the digital medium’s boundaries for feature animation can be pushed (and a reminder of how little they really have been.)
Dir. trees of Life, 2002, 35mm, 92 min.

Watch Cinefamily’s original trailer for “Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space”!