Writer-director R.J. Sullivan’s animated short, Pinto the Mean Bean, teaches us a valuable lesson in getting along with others. As the title suggests, Pinto is a mean bean. Mean in that he has a nasty attitude toward others.
Pinto lives in the very crowded city of Leguneopolis (Bean City for short) and can’t tolerate the other beans. One day, a stranger bean comes knocking on his door in desperate need of help. But will Pinto rise up to the occasion, or will he slam the door on opportunity?
“…a stranger bean comes knocking on his door…”
Pinto the Mean Bean is a quick five-minute morality tale for children about the importance of community and getting along with others. The message is simple, and children will easily get its point. The most impressive part is Sullivan’s animation. The art design is not exactly that impressive. It’s essentially line drawings of beans with faces. The rule is if I can draw like this, it’s not exactly special.
Where the art is elevated is the world of Bean City. It’s a full watercolor city with no blank spaces in the background. Sullivan does use CG to animate his characters and goes the extra mile to use more frames and smoothing effects to accentuate mouth and facial movements to bring his beans to life.
Pinto the Mean Bean is meant for children and will appeal to them. It’s clear that R.J. Sullivan wants to be an animator and shows that he has more than enough room to grow in achieving his dreams.
Pinto the Mean Bean screened at the 2023 Dances With Films Kidz Block.
"…a full watercolor city with no blank spaces in the background."