PassmoreLab teams with Spike & Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation to Produce 3D Conversions of Short Features.
Ushering the animated shorts of the beloved Spike & Mike’s film franchise into the 21st century, digital 3D technology innovator PassmoreLab has produced the first round of 3D conversions from the Sick and Twisted Festival catalog. Better than a pantleg full of live ferrets, these animated shorts in 3D are guaranteed to have you squirming in your seat with laughter – and maybe a little uncontrollable hysteria, so cinch your belt up a notch.
Make no mistake, these are not cartoons for the kiddies. The Sick and Twisted Festival began in 1990 to showcase works that were deemed too outrageous or adult in nature to fit in among their original Classic Festival fare. Ultimately, Spike & Mike theatrically premiered the likes of Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park), Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill), Eric Fogel (MTV’s Celebrity Death Match), Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls), and many others. Now many of these creations will be seen for the first time ever in full stereoscopic splendor – warts and all!
“What’s interesting about this 3D conversion project,” said the company’s founder and president, Greg Passmore, “is that Spike and Mike’s demographic is the alternative culture. It tends to be the art-house crowd, hipsters, and they tend to like animation that is on the edge. So we’re converting a whole lineup of really interesting pieces as part of the festival, and what’s cool is many of them are already fairly surrealistic or psychedelic, and converting them into 3D further intensifies the experience.” Passmore noted that the content ranges from computer generated animation to cell animation to even pencil sketches. “As far as I know,” he continued, “this is the first time that anyone has ever even tried to convert pencil sketches into 3D, so we’re excited to see how it turns out.”
Some of the more “interesting” works getting the stereoscopic treatment include “Pirate Baby”; “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” (“a rather strange and twisted piece,” according to Passmore); the festival staple “No Neck Joe”; “Monkey vs. Robot”; from France a piece entitled “Crab Revolution”; and “1300cc,” the tale of an outlaw biker, a scooter-riding Granny, and their fateful and hilarious interactions. Also included are several episodes of the series “Happy Tree Friends,” a particularly… well, interesting… story involving cuddly forest animals who seem to find their way into increasingly bloodier accidents. “If you’re not familiar with ‘Happy Tree Friends,’ notes Passmore, “it’s out there on the edge, absolutely.”
“We’re really excited to be working with Spike (Craig Decker. Co-founder Mike Gribble passed away in 1994) on this project,” said Passmore. “As people who know Spike are aware, he lives the alternative lifestyle and is a very unique and colorful individual, and we think that this is the exact kind of audience that appreciates 3D the most.”
Representing collectively thousands of hours of animation handwork, these films, many of them award winning, can only be seen in number as part of the annual Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation, which embarks on tour this fall.
PassmoreLab was established in San Diego, California, in 2003. The company’s staff is comprised of programmers and scientific engineers, and also includes graphic artists, videographers, stereographers, a musical composer, and even a biologist. PassmoreLab facilities include a full studio, video/film post-production, an optical development lab, and a software development environment. PassmoreLab is a firm with staff located around the world, with offices in San Diego, South Africa, Russia, and the Philippines.