Review - 'Dave' (Viddsee - TBS DigiCon6 Animation Series)

Here is our final installment of reviews of selected animation shorts from the recent TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) DigiCon6 Award animation entries from Singapore. You can actually watch all 19 entries from the Viddsee website here. To find out more about the competition, check out our previous introduction.

Here's our take on Dave. Dave is directed by Joanne Goh and Alice Chua. You can watch Dave via this link.

Dave is the average man trying to get to work during the peak hour. Stuck in a seemingly endless stream of traffic, he devises an alternative, albeit unconventional route to get to his destination. The animation opens with a scene of the traffic moving sluggishly along before we encounter the ever-distressed Dave coming up with the alternative route and as such the audience experiences the crazy ride with Dave before a majestically uneventful end as we see him ending up in another traffic jam. 

The graphic design first captures the audience with its unique and endearing concept. Styled in the form of cardboard, the ‘town’ that Dave resides in reminds the audience of candyfloss with its effervescent, pastel colors. Moreover, scenes include a ‘Singaporean’ feel to them, especially with shophouses and the clothes hung out on a pole in the back alleys. Even the buses in the video were styled in that of our local SBS buses. The eye for detail that Joanne Goh and Alice Chua possessed really added to the charisma of this animation. The concept that made it so much more childlike and amiable gives an almost alienated effect to the audience in their view of a traffic jam as we do not immediately register the likelihood of the cyclical nature of traffic jams, though admittedly, no one would be as ‘brave’ as Dave to seek such unconventional methods to escape a traffic jam.

The sound effects, mainly for the characterization of Dave and the establishment of atmosphere complemented the graphics perfectly. The music flowed seamlessly with the storyline, such as its heightening during Dave’s adventure. The sound effects of the traffic jam and Dave’s form of expression, though in gibberish, was easy to grasp as it was relatable. Dave’s scream, tapping of his fingers on the steering wheel and the honking in the traffic jam that were created by high-pitched voices gave the animation the innocent, cute and childlike feel that it had already formerly established through its graphics.

All in all, the animation proves to be extremely agreeable with its pleasantly sweet graphics and engaging sound effects. The storyline was simple in concept but accomplished with a charm that would make anyone laugh and click the replay button. I really enjoyed the concept and execution of this animation.

Brenda Tan 

Brenda is a first year Theatre Studies and Literature student at Anglo-Chinese Junior College. After having dabbled in film studies, art, photography, music and philosophy, she has recently rekindled a passion for theatre and is under the youth wing of Buds Theatre Company. Besides reading and writing extensively, she (ironically) genuinely enjoys philosophy podcasts, visits the library far too often and tries her best to support local talents by turning up at shows and buying local publications. She also posts original works on her blog,
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