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Little Merry Ego

rated 4.47 / 5 stars
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Credits & Info

Aug 7, 2013 | 7:06 AM EDT
  • Frontpaged August 7, 2013
  • Weekly Users' Choice August 14, 2013
  • Review Crew Pick August 14, 2013
  • Daily Feature August 8, 2013

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Author Comments

This animation was made in 3 weeks for the finals of the Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation 2013. When I first entered this year I'd never expected to actually make it to make it this far, but I'm glad I did because I feel like I've learned a lot from this.
The theme for this round was "a dark confession". At first I wasn't that fond of the theme, because I was afraid that I'd have to make something with a dark and eerie colour scheme, like in my last animation - And I had kind of grown tired of that already. While traveling a bit around the country I came up with another take on the theme, which I wrote down and storyboarded on a napkin in the bus. The idea of a dark truth surfacing - the more psychological aspect of a self-confession is what I ended up going with. Here's what I wrote in the bus:

"Little Merry lives in an iceberg below the surface of the sea. She's a perfectionist and doesn't like when things are out of the ordinary, so she has made it her job to make sure the truth-bubbles that makes it to the surface are absolutely perfect. One day, however she comes across a truth that she doesn't like, and has a hard time getting rid of."

I'd like to say that "could have done so and so better", but to be honest I think I gave it all I can right now, with the time limit being in place. Because of this I don't really think I'll feel bad whether I "win or lose" in these finals. It's been great.

- Now, this animation didn't need voice acting, but I felt like a generic soundtrack found on the internet wouldn't do it justice either, so I asked Matthew to help out. He did an amazing job on the music, which he made to the actual animation in these last days before the deadline. It was a great experience actually working with a composer, rather than using a premade piece of music.


Notes from the composer:
First off I'd like to say that it really is an honor to OFFICIALLY be part of the NATA Contest and in the final round! I have been working with Hikarian for a while now and I feel that we do some really great work together! Anyways, when it came down to this piece I pretty much worked on it last minute and it seemed quite a challenge when Hikarian presented the animation to me so I could then score it. The hardest part was that it was requested to be piano only. All in all, I gave it some thought and applied a lot of orchestration technique to make it seem like a bigger score than it is since it's only for piano. There are many elements of minimalism that I feel best fit Hikarian's style. Some shifts in tonal centricity help to complement the shift in events, mood, and expressions as seen in the animation. Other compositional techniques in regard to harmony are relatively simple only really using modal and octatonic chord scales. Rhythms were a bit tricky, but that's what you commonly find in film scores as the music needs to change and adapt to the timing of the picture.

Because this was a pretty big contest I decided to notate and score the piece with my spotting notes for those who are interested in looking at the score. You can download it here:

Again, it was really great to work with Hikarian and to officially be part of the NATA contest.

- Matthew (deadlyfishes)



Rated 4.5 / 5 stars

This is a really well done piece. There are two complaints I have overall. The first is that her perfectionist personality was hard to spot since the only instance is her trimming the bush, but the first two time I watched I thought the focus was the bad memory, not her as seen from above so that part of her was missed. The second is a personal preference that I would have liked to so her face instead of it being shadowed so we could see how she felt after it burst, but that could have been an artistic choice to leave it in mystery.
Overall though it was a great animation. It was very fluid and it was apparent to me the creator took effort in the finer details, such as facial expressions and body posture to give her a personalty. The piano fit perfectly to what was being shown and created an atmosphere by itself. The metaphors used are strong and were easy enough to spot.


Rated 5 / 5 stars

This is great, I chose not to read your comments before watching it, but I can tell you that the message came across perfectly. Which is an artform in itself. I really enjoyed it and thank you for your effort. <Takes hat off and bows>


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Great, but Sad!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

'mazing your stuff always makes me smile


Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Animations are ok and the music is good combined with the story. Lost me a little on the end but i like the art.