Spice Frontier’s only flaw is very easy to understand, even knowing nothing about the animated short film. There is simply not enough of it. It’s all too brief 8-minute runtime hints at this engaging backstory for the main character, and a fascinating universe to play around in. That the audience only gets to bask in it for such a short amount of time is a tease.
But all that complaint actually means is that directors Jalil Sadool and Adam Meyer have crafted such an engaging film that it leaves the viewer wanting more. Earth was destroyed centuries ago, but pockets of human civilization have thrived throughout the galaxy. Kent Williams is a chef on a mission to collect, catalog, preserve, and cook with the remaining Earth spices.
“Kent Williams is a chef on a mission to collect, catalog, preserve, and cook with the remaining Earth spices.”
Along with his trusted cyborg companion C-LA, Kent docks at an abandoned station, formerly an interplanetary zoo. Against C-LA’s better judgment, Kent ventures forth on his own. While he finds the salt he was searching for, C-LA sees movement on the ship’s sensors. It appears that they are not alone in this vessel. Can Kent escape with his delicious tasting loot?
Produced by Steamroller Studios, Spice Frontier is stunningly animated. The colors are vivid and crisp, each character has a recognizable, unique design, and the detailing of the backgrounds is beautiful. When C-LA runs faster and faster in order to burst through the far side of a wall (with Kent and the mysterious entity on the other side), the kinetic energy is well exemplified by the animation. The character movements are all believable and the sci-fi setting allows the animators to get wild with some designs for some unbelievably cool-looking moments.
Spice Frontier hits on all levels. The score is excellent, the voice cast is good, and the action is exciting. But it is the glorious animation and fantastic universe on display that make the movie so memorable.
Spice Frontier screened as part of the Dragon Con Independent Short Film festival.