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Little Merry Ego

rated 4.47 / 5 stars
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Aug 7, 2013 | 7:06 AM EDT
  • Frontpaged August 7, 2013
  • Weekly Users' Choice August 14, 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 5 / 5 stars

This was truly beautiful, the whimsical, colourful and bouncy art style worked really well with the subject of the piece. The music was just outstanding, it had me welling up.

Really great work, well done!


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Wow........... This is seriously beautiful and touching I even cried a little and short animations usually don't make me cry. And you did this in 3 weeks? Wow... I'm amazed


Rated 4 / 5 stars

i like the music more than the plot but the art work is amazing great job for only 3 weeks


Rated 5 / 5 stars

The music is awesome,the art style is good and I like the colouring.

I see.. So she tried to overcome her dark pasts,but she can't and instead it asorbs her happy pasts (Knowing that her happy pasts won't happens again,or.. Something like that~.)
So.. The moral of this story is,we can just accept everything that has happened,not reject it.

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Rated 5 / 5 stars

The iceberg is her mind, the part that is above the water is the conscious part, and the part below the water is her unconscious. The bubbles are memories that when reach the surface, go into the conscious part, therefore she remembers those memories. The Little Merry who is in her mind is her ego, who tries to suppress the bad memories, but only gets obssesed over it and make those memories stronger.

Well, at least that's what i understood here, very good video, i hope you win (or won?)

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