We Got A Problem With Groundwater Image

The Rust Belt of the United States boasts some of this country’s most beautiful land. But industry… a dying industry at that… has devasted these once lush regions in so many ways. Shelby Baldock’s We’ve Got A Problem With Groundwater is a haunting animated short based on Noah Lekas’ poem of the same title.

The short opens with Ron Gephart’s narration, “I’ve spent a lifetime watching sacred land turn red.” Lekas’ poem is an environmental warning about how industrial mills, factories, and their waste have contaminated the Midwest’s once beautiful landscape and waterways. The poem is accompanied by Baldock’s haunting, violent, and often gruesome cartoonish illustrations.

“…an environmental warning about how industrial mills, factories, and their waste have contaminated the Midwest’s once beautiful landscape…”

We’ve Got A Problem With Groundwater is an excellent example of how poetry and animation can work together and enhance one another’s impact. Baldock’s animation uses some traditional techniques, but it’s primarily illustrated backgrounds with flashing watercolor fills along with an effective use of multi-plane animation effects. What stands out the most is the bold, red watercolors he uses to evoke emotion. I don’t know that I’d call the short beautiful, but more aggressive and striking.

We Got A Problem With Groundwater (2020)

Directed: Shelby Baldock

Written: Noah C. Lekas

Starring: Ron Gephart, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

We Got A Problem With Groundwater Image

"…haunting, violent, and often gruesome cartoonish illustrations."

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