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Work / Animation

Animade’s Milo Targett tackles role play in this series of funny and absurd shorts

“I wanted to take the excitement and escapism of role-playing then apply it to excessively mundane objects. The series almost looks like a support group for mixed-up, confused individuals who get off on dressing up as appliances and machinery,” explains Animade senior creative Milo Targett on his series of shorts. The project first made an appearance in March, when Milo released a taster of some of the films, and he’s just released two more to complete the series. “It has taken about two months all-in, but I’ve had to squidge it around client work where possible as naturally that takes priority.”

The idea first came to Milo while he was thinking about his childhood. “I kept thinking about the puzzling array of costumed characters which we’re exposed to as children. At that age it’s quite tricky to get your head around the idea that there is a human staring back from inside that Mickey Mouse suit for example,” he says. “For some reason I found Thomas the Tank Engine particularly disturbing, but I also loved the show. The series aims to explore the different motivations of people within costumes.”

Milo’s process began with talking to his friends about which “inanimate objects they’d most like to dress up as”, then sketching them out dressed as those things. “I tried to think what each character could be doing, something that would help them self-actualise as the object they had chosen,” explains Milo. “Once I had one I was happy with, I could start to model in 3D and being animating.”

In the project we see a jolly guy dressed as a washing machine with infectious rhythm, a surreal satellite-like character where we see a peek of his pert bottom and a leggy lady disguised as a crane, handing out sandwiches. “I wanted everything to feel lively and celebratory, as though these DIY approximations of pretty mundane machinery were worth shouting about,” says Milo. “The costume creates a mystery; you can only imagine the painful practicalities of how all the human bits fit together underneath.” As a result Milo’s main challenge during the project was working out the costume practicalities, “finding a spot for an emerging arm or leg is easier said than done,” says the animator. “Saying that I think you could dress up as just about anything if you put your mind to it.”

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Animade and Milo Targett: Washing Machine

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Animade and Milo Targett: ATM

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Animade and Milo Targett: Satellite

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Animade and Milo Targett: Crane

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Animade and Milo Targett: Cement Mixer