By Stina Chyn | March 4, 2004

Polish animator Tom Baginski spent three years creating his animated film “The Cathedral.” As the making-of featurette in the DVD version of the film informs, a lot of time was spent in planning for the film. The story is based on the writings of Jacek Dukai, who actually wrote a piece specifically for the project. Incorporating both two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer generated graphics, “The Cathedral” is seven minutes of pure captivation.

Set in a fantasy-outer-space environment, the film follows a man, or a pilgrim as the director calls him, and the events that unfold around him. When you first meet the computer-drawn, hooded man, he has the appearance of an explorer. He’s on a strange planet, and seemingly lured to an enormous cathedral that’s made from massive trees. As you watch what happens to the pilgrim as he enters the cathedral, it’s as if you’re witnessing something sacred, a rite of passage, or at the very least you get to see this man fulfill his destiny.

Nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Animated Short in 2003, winner of the Best Short Animated Film at the 2002 Siggraph Computer Animation Festival, and winner of the 2002 BAF award for Best Short Digital, “The Cathedral” is visually reminiscent of Blizzard Entertainment’s videogame Warcraft. Luminous blues and grays highlight the pilgrim, the cathedral, and the sky. Hints of greens, oranges, and browns fill the landscape. “The Cathedral” is cinematic splendor. Do what you can to see it.

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