France's Cube Creative Productions Unveils Latest

Company designed hosts for ‘Oscar Nominated Shorts 2014 Animation Edition’

The latest work from Paris-based Cube Creative Productions, managed by Lionel Fages, is the animated hosts — Martin Giraffe and Clive Ostrich — for the theatrical release of the omnibus film “Oscar Nominated Shorts 2014 — Animation Edition,” produced by the Shorts Movie Channel, which was recently released on more than 600 screens in the U.S.

Cube was contacted by Shorts’ Carter Pilcher after seeing the €230,000 ($313,000) animated short film “5m80,” directed by 35-year old Nicolas Deveaux, that features giraffes performing choreographed diving routines in Les Halles swimming pools in Paris.

Deveaux’s trademark technique is to employ animals in human acrobatics.

The animated hosts appearing in the “Oscar Nominated Shorts 2014 — Animation Edition” are based on two characters that have appeared in Deveaux’s previous works, namely a giraffe and an ostrich, in this case called Martin Giraffe and Clive Ostrich, featuring the voices of actors Mac McDonald and Kerry Shale respectively.

The Academy Awards-related exposure of the work of Cube Productions is increasing interest in the company’s work.

At the Ile de France Location Expo, the company unveiled a new 90-second animation film that it has produced for France’s Ecoprod initiative — designed to encourage French producers to adopt more environmentally-friendly techniques.

The company also discussed its latest short film with Air France, called “1 metre/hour,” directed by Nicolas Deveaux, which features snails doing a choreographed musical routine on the wings of a jumbo jet.

Lionel Fages began his career at Ex Machina, then part of Thomson Digital Image, and belongs to the same generation of French animators as Pierre Buffin of Buf and Jacques Bled of Illumination MacGuff.

While working at Ex Machina, Fages produced the first animated short “Pings” (1997) by Pierre Coffin — who later moved to MacGuff, where he has directed the worldwide box-office hits, “Despicable Me” 1 and 2.

“This is a great moment for the French CGI and animation industry,” Fages explained to Variety. “Our next step is to develop a major feature film. We already have several projects in development and there’s tremendous interest in our work abroad, that’s been further enhanced by this recent project for the Oscars. Notwithstanding the difficult economic climate in France, we’re highly optimistic for the future.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more