Plantae Image

Plantae

By Alan Ng | July 14, 2020

Guilherme Gehr’s Plantae is one of the most beautiful animated shorts I’ve seen in a long time…I mean, a long time. The ten-minute tale is a simple one with an important message.

Plantae opens in a South American rain forest. A logger treks deep into the woods and finds a rather large tree just ripe for the cutting. The trunk has to be twenty feet in diameter, and after some doing, the logger’s chainsaw has finally cut its way through. What happens next is a moment of beautiful, yet foreboding, magic that can only occur in nature.

Gehr’s short film takes on the decades-long rain-forest deforestation battle—one that never seems to come to an end. Plantae plays out as an essential environmental fable.

“A logger treks deep into the woods and finds a rather large tree just ripe for the cutting.”

As I said before, this is one gorgeous animated short. Why? I’ve loved 2D animation for a long time. With computers, this style of animation has lost its appeal to big studios and audiences at large, but filmmakers, like Gehr, is keeping the artform alive…even if it employs hybrid CG techniques.

The art of Plantae shines. Each frame has an overall painted appearance coming just short of photo-realistic. Its textures are detailed, and colors are brilliant…like the rain forest itself. Gehr also employs the traditional multi-plane animation giving depth to every camera movement. There’s one shot of mushrooms growing on a fallen tree that spotlights some amazing focus effects. The overall style of animation reminds me of Japanese anime, but with light to non-existent black outlines.

Suffice it to say, just sit back and enjoy Plantae…preferably on the most massive screen you can find.

Plantae (2019)

Directed and Written: Guilherme Gehr

Starring: Guilherme Gehr, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Plantae Image

"…an overall painted appearance coming just short of photo-realistic."

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