Strange as it is, I just saw Elephants Dream, and I must say, I was quite dissapointed. For all the hype around it, it didn’t strike me as a good short. Sure it was made with open source tools, and had top-notch visuals (great job there) but the story was nonexistant. While you could pull lots of meaning from the various scenes, there was no real cohesive story that brought it together, just some somewhat random lines to go with the visuals. And while you may argue that as a short, it doesn’t need a storyline, you may be right, but there was also no main point, no truth conveyed by the images like in even Pixar’s seemingly random shorts. And unlike a short based around humor, which needs no story or setting, just antics or lines to elicit a few laughs or smirks, something on this level should provide some background, some story or point around which the whole short focuses on and develops so that one understands its meaning at the end.

Well there you go, tear at it, but that’s my opinion.

I don’t think a “story” is what they were really going for. If i am not mistaken it was to show the power and possibilities of blender as an open source tool/ alternative to the commercial brands.

Still, you’ve got to admit it’s a bit lacking in story telling. I think I might have figured out what it’s about, but their communication of it was not clear, it was a little cryptic.

It could also be that I’m way off, because there is enough room for misunderstandings.

mmmm, I agree. When I watched it I thought, wow great animation, but I wouldn’t really watch it again because there is nothing really to it.

msybe it has a point… my interpretation is… that Proog, at some point loses control of “his world”… (his fantasy?)… in this case it would describe a psychosis(it does, even whether they ment it to or not). I think you have to watch without WANTING to see a clear storyline…

Grrrr. There are already threads on this topic.
Dreams are open to Interpretation. Aren’t they?
I have watched Elephants Dream 20+ times and My interpretation has not changes since the first view.
Proog is the custodian of a great machine.
Proog is the Master. Emo is the Apprentice.
Proog is trying to show Emo the way round and the secrets of their strange enviroment. Emo, as a typical young person, throws caution to the wind and cannot see why he has to listen to Proogs Demands.
Emo then rebels against Proog who is then forced to ‘protect them both’.
Classic Old V’s Young scenario. Master V’s Apprentice.
This is my interpretation. But then again I have an imagination.

I thought that the whole machine was a figment of Proog’s imagination. Emo can’t see any of it. (Q: What do you see? A: nothing) He’s visiting is eccentric friend Proog who often babbles about strange worlds he’s imagining. Emo, being a good friend, just goes along with it humouring him, but really he still can’t see it at all (notice how on the typewriter stepping stones bit, how Emo just walks normally). Eventually, Emo has enough of Proog’s imagination getting in the way of things, especially when Proog hits him as a result of his delusions (I’ve seen 10 year olds act better). He turns to go home (Proog’s imagination compensates for this by make believing the walls move out of Emo’s way) but then, because he’s annoyed at Proog, he makes fun of him by making out he can see the make believe worlds. His mocking stirs up more images in Proogs imagination, giving the effect that Emo is conjuring it all up. Proog takes “evasive action” knocking Emo out and then falls down to his knees saying “It is there, I tell you, it really is there” because he knows no one else can see his fantasies.

Throughout the whole movie, Emo interacts with none of the illusion. At one point the phone rings, and Emo goes to pick it up but is stopped by Proog paranoid that the phone is full of horrible maggot creatures and is a tool of the machine. At another point, he sees a door, which Proog prevents him to go through. I imagine that the door is a real life door (possibly the door out of the house, as Emo is now beginning to want to leave) but Proog with his overactive imagination refuses to go through once again.

It’s worthwhile hearing the directors’ voiceover commentary with the DVD. It explains a few things including that they started making the film before actually pulling together a script.

I reckon another good DVD could be made by collecting a lot of the shorts the blender community have made.

“it didn’t strike me as a good short … but the story was nonexistant.”
Besides the issue that there is a story and weather you see it or not, it strikes me as ‘not very interesting’ to read an opinion from a JellyWerker that an animation with a non comprehensive story would be “not good”.

Is any (modern) piece in a museum self explainatory?

What is the point you are trying to make?

I like stories that don’t give it all away. It leaves open for interpertation. If you want an easy to follow story there’s always Pixar and Disney as ED was not ment as a funny kiddy movie.

Elephants Dream is an example of what Blender can do, and blender does not write the script for you, does not model for you.

I like ED’s story. Many ways to interpet it I guess.

Just enjoy it and wait for Orange 2 “the [simple] people pleaser”

just keep in mind that:

  1. the software was developed besides making the movie
    that provided a great play ground for Blender

  2. the team was young und fresh and never worked together

  3. the time limit. think about the short time they only had.

when you think about the last one than the only thing you can say with more time the result would have ben better but given the time they had they did a great job. otherwise the movie also would not get so much attention outside in the world.

people are listening now.

JellyWerker: The material used in ED is there waiting for you. It is ~open~ movie meaning that you are free to make your version of it.

Elephants Dream is for Studio Orange, what Naked Lunch is for William Burroughs.

(black catepillar powder)

it’s my only proof that i ever was there.


I’m not asking for an easy to follow story. I get the feeling that many people in this thread believe I am some sort of ignorant moron who wants things very simple. I’m simply commenting that I thought ED lacked a point that brought it together. I’m not bashing the team, the software, etc… I’m just saying that from my point of view, there was no story. Like I said, you can pull all sorts of meaning from it, it just seemed to lack any guiding direction given to it by the team.

Joeri: To put it bluntly, ED could just as well be called an open source tech demo. Also, as supposedly reading this strikes you as not very interesting, then don’t read it or reply to it, since by doing so you show interest. Not to start a flame war or anything, but don’t contradict yourself.

Elephants Dream movie wasn’t created whjat I think for only the story or whatever, but more for what blender was technically capable of. It was more a sort of show-off what blender can do and what you can archive with it then just only little shorts with discusable quality.

I think Orange did an awesome job when you look from the graphical eye as well technically. It was the first HD movie on HD DVD in Europe, and the quality is indeed amazing when you watch it on a HD screen.

Btw, what exactly is the difference between a HD screen and a normal monitor? Cause I saw in a big store here in holland (mediamarkt and Saturn) a bunch of HD screens, but I must admit, my expensive monitor of 5 years old displays even 200% better quality then these did, and the nice effect, reflections and such were viewable on my monitor as well. :slight_smile:

Anyways, the story was a little bit strange yes, but the quality of the graphics were top notch. :smiley:

Exactly. Not only that. They want to see what specific features Blender needs to make a movie. Fact that most of the new features in the current version were borne out of making ED. As they say there’s only one way to find out: immerse yourself into the whole experience and next time you’ll know that tools to bring and develop.

As for the story. Well, Blender is European. You know how Europeans craft their stories into films. They’re deep, almost parable-like. So don’t expect simple hollywood-type stories for simple-minded folks from Europeans. If you are a north American, try watching films made by French Canadians. There are lots of them with english subtitles on your average cable provider. That’s my one-cent worth. Take it or ignore it.:smiley:

:wink: I think that is a very interesting interpretation! I will watch it again from that perspective. I can imagine a new version where brief “reality” shots of Emo’s world are spliced in to show that the rest is from Proog’s delusions.

I also think that in the long run the obscure meaning and lack of traditional story line will benefit Elephants Dream. I think it will be come a cult classic and will be discussed and viewed long after similar CG shorts have been forgotten.

ED’s plot was confusing and obscure for a reason. It’s an open-source movie, so wouldn’t it make sense for the plot to be open to interpretation?

For example, I believe that the machine is, in fact, a manifestation of Emo’s imagination, not Proog’s, who wishes to control Emo and his unstable mind. I’m not right or wrong. It doesn’t matter. The untold background is open for discussion and speculation.

I Liked Elephant’s Dream; even the plot.

Or instead of “brief” shots, have all of the camera views from Emo’s viewpoint, showing a “normal” world. But I guess that would have been too “obvious” :wink:

I disagree, and think because of those factors it will be quickly forgotten, which is a shame. E.g. it was discussed in only a few posts on Cgtalk before the thread vanished. On IMDB there have only been 12 comments and about the same on YouTube, despite YouTube having ~50,000 views the last time I looked.

Talking about CG, I just watched “The Wild” the other day, and it is also visually stunning,(much more so than ED) …to be fair, understandably given the budget / staff / time to make it. However on IMDB it’s getting ripped to shreds because of the STORY. (Not for being obscure, but rather the opposite, for being "nothing new / a rehash of other movies … etc.)

I think the problem with both ED and “The Wild” … and some other CGI films is they’re being made by “techy” people … who are still saying “wow look how cool that render / shader / effect …etc” is, while the majority of the viewing public doesn’t really care about the realistic render after the first 5 minutes of the movie… or at all … and they just want to be entertained by THE STORY.


Different people are entertained by different stories. Many people I know really liked the story of ED, especially after they’d thought about it for a while. If the story doesn’t appeal to everyone who watches it, so be it, that’s impossible anyway. We made something from our hearts, that we were interested in ourselves, and I think that’s more than you can say for many of the big production line Disney films.