|Click any image to enlarge.|
The studio is located in the Vedado section of Havana in a modern, multi-story building.
I always feel at home in animation studios. The artists there were like animation artists everywhere: friendly, happy to show off their work, and enthusiastic about the medium. One artist I talked to talked about how much he loved working on paper and how superior he felt it was to software. I shared complaints with another artist about the limitations of certain software packages.
As in most studios, the artist's desks were surrounded by toys, many of their own making. The planes above this 3D animator were his own work, crafted from paper. He also had built a replica of a rifle that appeared authentic until you touched it.
Ernesto and Juan showed me some stop motion shorts with tools as characters. The puppets were amazingly lightweight. There was a thin wire armature inside and the outside was a light, flexible foam. They could be supported simply using pins to hold them to the stage surface.
|Juan has also done cartooning for print. Here are some examples.|
|Here are some posters of recent work|
By coincidence, I was there on July 1, the day that Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced that they would reopen embassies in each other's countries. President Obama has moved to improve relations between the U.S. and Cuba, but some of the restrictions, such as the embargo, are acts of Congress and can only be repealed by Congress. I hope that relations are eventually normalized. It will make it easier for this studio to get the supplies they need and will make their impressive work more readily available in English-speaking countries.
I am grateful for the opportunity to see this studio and speak to the artists. I was impressed with the quality and variety of their work.
Below is a series of spot gags directed by Juan that I believe is from the 1980s. I'm sorry that the resolution is so low. Below that is the English version of the trailer for Meñique, directed by Ernesto.