Watch Cabbit: A Handmade Animation by Crosshatch Artist, Soogie

Those prone to using “twee” as a pejorative, particularly in connection to the films of Wes Anderson, should lay in a supply of antidote before viewing the animated short, Cabbit.

Its creators describe the titular character as “a charming little animal spirit whom (sic) spends its days tea-dancing with kindred spirits and exploring the wonders of the natural world.”

As in The Lorax, industry and the foolish humans in its thrall are major baddies. But whereas the apoplectic Lorax takes an activist stance, Cabbit drifts along, serene in its tweeds.

As ecological statements go, it’s pretty mild stuff.

For this viewer, the more intriguing element is the back story. In animation terms, Cabbit is a throwback, painstakingly hand drawn with Sharpie markers by a mostly housebound Missoula artist, who flies under the code name Soogie. His craftsmanship caught the attention of sound designer, John Kassab, who saw punk where others saw twee. Kassab may not pilot a dirigible or squash possums with his Model T,  but as humans go, he’s pretty up on technology. With Kassab as producer, Soogie waged a Kickstarter campaign, successfully tea dancing with kindred spirits who underwrote the purchase of high end digital equipment. Kassab’s next goal is to usher the otherworldly, anthromorphic Cabbit onto the film festival circuit. Til then, it must abide entirely within the confines of this steampunk world we refer to as the Internet.

Ayun Halliday is Wes Anderson’s #1 Fan.


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