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Dec 9, 2009 | 11:48 AM EST
  • Weekly Users' Choice December 15, 2009
  • Review Crew Pick December 15, 2009
  • Daily Feature December 10, 2009

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  • Brackenwood
    Brackenwood The world of Bitey and company is full of magic and wonder!

Author Comments

This is the story of the last of the dashkin. The people are all gone and in a world of innocent animals, the solitude, the sadness and bitterness have corrupted his view of life. What does the future hold for such a tragic creature? Will he wander the planet, forever alone until his death? Will he always be the wild King of Brackenwood?

--
It's a massive honour to be nominated for a 2nd Tank Award, thanks NG! Thank you for front page, all the great reviews and the incredible score for Daily Feature.
--
Thanks to Brackenwood fans and donors for all the support not only during the 4 weeks I spent making this, but also in the 2 years since I submitted Waterlollies.

Since then I've been working on the Brackenwood feature film outline with my good friend Ryan O'Loughlin. With no plans for a new web episode in the meantime it occurred to me that Brackenwood fans could be waiting years for the feature. I didn't want to abandon them altogether, so this new movie is my way of staying in touch with them and the NG audience.

This is the first Brackenwood short to break away from the "character introduction" style movies that had little or no character motivation and plot. This is a story, not only answering a lot of questions, but asking just as many new ones.

I used Flash CS3, the .fla is over 300MB (half of that is audio) and it took me 4 weeks.
Don't worry I won't be leaving it another 2 years. I plan on starting storyboards on the conclusion in jan-feb 2010.

Reviews


TaranosTaranos

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Different...neither really worse nor really better

First of all, its great to see again another Bitey movie and that you didnt want to "abandon" us (as we aint abandoning you), you make alot of people happy and make us dream even if only for some minutes, so... yeah, thanks.

2nd I just read Darkaxl's comment and he's kinda right yet kinda wrong. I agree that the music overpowered the narration at some points, sound is indeed sometimes more important than the animation and you might really have been kinda rushed (of course I dont know it but if I think how long you had for your other bitey's it IS a difference in time and that most times has a influence).I dont think though that the narration idea is necessarily a bad idea, it's just...different. Sure of course you could say "It's not the same anymore" or "It tells too much, gets the mysticism out of the tales" etc etc, yet don't we strive to know about everything in a story from a book? Don't we want to know the past, present and future, the how, why, when and what? how the story ends? (of course we want that the story never ends :P) As said its neither good or bad, it got its positive and negative sides. The originals or the changes? Do we want to stay in the dark, enigmatic unknown or step forward, discover, learn and understand why things are the way they are? So paradox...so I guess in the end it's everyone's individual oppinion.

I personally somewhat liked the narration, it leaves one in suspense, yet I wouldnt have minded at all if there wasnt any. I must say though, IF there's gotta be speeches then only narrations and NOT more. It would really be crap now if Bitey started speaking x)
I dont think Emma made it badly, sure could have been better, more...elvish and not so harsh, dry, but she still hit the needle pretty well on the head, I've heard narrations a thousand times worse (without exaggeration) also the choice of the words is pretty good aswell.

The animations are as always mesmerizing, beautiful and just fantastic.

Same goes to the music, if not even better, more....enchanting, emotionally/fantastically captivating.

Heck, this might be my longest review for anything in my life, so much about quietness. Yet again something as special as a Bitey movie deserves the upmost attention.

So in summary:

Animation: Awesome
Music: Wonderful
Animation-sound harmony: Pretty ok/good
Originality/Idea: You keep surprising us
Narration: coin-flip

More?: DEFINETIVELY! *.*


chluaid responds:

Great review Taranos, thanks for that. I particularly like the bit where you said:

"Do we want to stay in the dark, enigmatic unknown or step forward, discover, learn and understand why things are the way they are?"

The latter is my reason for making this one and my motivation for doing more. Thanks again.


sexyvampiresexyvampire

Rated 5 / 5 stars

................

"perfection"
- sexyvampire



xxneonheartxxxxneonheartxx

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Everyone else is silly.

It was a fantastic narration, and I was glad that for once it offered a possible storyline. Instead of the usual humorous, yet repetitive clips of high-speed mischief. I'm glad to see that we finally get to see more about Bitey from a different point of view rather than through his own eyes.
I can't wait to see what happens.


People find this review helpful!
chluaid responds:

Thanks! You're right, rather than the same old surface observation of a day in Bitey's life, this was all about the why of Bitey's life. I'm glad you got out of it what I wanted people to get out of it :)


BillZomonoBillZomono

Rated 5 / 5 stars

The narration was a nice touch.

KInda gave it a deeper meaning to the story a bit. And I can hardly wait for the next one.


chluaid responds:

Thank you!


bologna123bologna123

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Definitely different, and in my opinion worse

I liked the fast paced action and moral style of your previous Bitey animations, they felt like a real good story being told visually. There was no pesky narrator constricting my thoughts to what they were intended to be, I could make out what I wanted from the story. Before this, Bitey was a light-hearted mischievous villain who got kicks out of messing with others. He was grumpy and entertaining. Now you've taken that image and smashed it into a wall. His image is now confused, the previous animations gave no subtleties to the interpretation which appears to be pulled out of your ass (pardon my language, there is no other accurate way to put it). The animation does not even appear to have the same spark as the others, the mood-swinging music and the dull narrator (she sounds like an online tutorial) make it colorless and full of friction. It's as if you're trying to abbreviate a book into 2 minutes with the plot, which is not a story but rather an exposition (which is a big problem considering we already know who Bitey is).

This took you four weeks of high effort animation, and it does not entertain me in the least. So, 5 points for effort, and 1 for entertainment.

As for advice? Well, if you want to make the Bitey cartoons into a story don't recreate him. We know and love Bitey. You can't skip ahead and abbreviate a vast new history into a 2 minute animation. Also, the narration killed it! It's just not right for Bitey. It's distracting and restricting to our imaginations. The beautiful lush environment evaporated and turned into a dismal 'this is that, that is this' atmosphere. What I'd've liked to see? Maybe Bitey is just going around as per usual, getting himself into trouble, that mysterious figure comes out of nowhere and it starts from there.

If you read Darkaxl's review, I agree with him mostly.

I really like your cartoons, Bitey or not, but this one was upsetting because of how I could not enjoy it. I hope my honest criticism helps.


Lots of people find this review helpful!
chluaid responds:

Thanks for taking the time to put it all into a review and yep I do appreciate honest criticism.

Here's the thing: Early this year when I was planning this episode, I made a decision and a promise to myself. I decided NOT to do the same old thing again. I enjoyed making these simple karma-themed episodes but they weren't taking us anywhere. I have many hundreds of emails from people wanting to know more about Bitey and not just watch him mindlessly prank his way around Brackenwood for another 5-10 mins.

"Dashkin" is the intro to something bigger. Not just another simple joke wrapped in lovely graphics.