Here's a fun, free and non-fattening way to while away the dog days of August while we're supposed to be working. AtomFilms is showcasing a series of shorts from Aardman Animations, "Pib and Pog," that cheekily skewers the banality of most contemporary kidvid.
At first blush "Pib and Pog" look like any other kids program produced on the cheap with minimal animation. But keep watching, these two are subversively funny, and even a bit potty-mouthed when they're not on camera in their show-within-a-short. "Pib and Pog" stem from a short film that director Peter Peake did for Aardman in the late 1990s, and Peake's back as the creative overlord of the new shorts developed in conjunction with MTV Networks' AtomFilms Studios.
Although it looks low-budget on the surface, it's Aardman -- purveyors of "Wallace and Gromit," "Creature Comforts" and other wonderfully weird stop-motion animation fare -- so it's deceptively simple-looking and beautifully produced. I love Aardman's stuff for the fact that you can see the human touch in all of their work. Somebody really does move the plasticine figures a tenth of an inch for each shot. The consistent quality of the company's work is truly impressive. I've never understood why "Wallace and Gromit" never took off on this side of the pond. My kid loves them. For a tour of the Aardman oeuvre, start here.