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|Directed by||François Alaux|
Hervé de Crécy
|Produced by||Autour de Minuit|
|Written by||François Alaux|
Hervé de Crécy
Gregory J. Pruss
|Music by||Bryan Ray Turcotte|
|Edited by||Samuel Danési|
Autour de Minuit Productions
Little Minx Films
|Distributed by||Cinéma Public Films|
Logorama is a 16-minute French animated film written and directed by H5/François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy and Ludovic Houplain, and produced by Autour de Minuit. The film depicts events in a stylized Los Angeles, and is told entirely through the use of more than 2,500 contemporary and historical logos and mascots. The film won the Prix Kodak at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 82nd Academy Awards.
The opening shot is a panorama of Los Angeles, revealing a city where all of the buildings and inhabitants are some form of commercial branding: birds in the form of Bentley and Aston Martin logos, MSN's butterfly, pedestrians in the shape of the AIM icon, overhead highway signs mounted on Atlantic Records logos, etc. The major characters are revealed in an Altman-esque tableau. The Pringles mascot (voiced by David Fincher) pulls into a restaurant's parking lot and propositions an Esso Girl waitress (voiced by Aja Evans) who is on a smoking break. Two Michelin Man cops in a parked cruiser (voiced by Bob Stephenson and Sherman Augustus) are introduced as they debate the morality of keeping animals in zoos. Across town, Bob's Big Boy (voiced by Joel Michaely) and Haribo (voiced by Matt Winston) are on a tour at the zoo led by a flamboyant Mr. Clean (voiced by Michaely). The two boys hate the tour and hop off the tour train. They soon begin to harass the MGM lion by mooning it and throwing a Coca-Cola bottle at it, but they are scolded by the zoo security, the Green Giant.
As the cops order lunch, a call comes in over the radio about a criminal on the loose in a red delivery truck. Both cops spy Ronald McDonald (voiced by Stephenson) in the truck and give chase. The pursuit quickly veers out of control, as innocent bystanders are imperiled. Meanwhile, the kids at the zoo have finished their visit and are back on the school bus, soon nearing the Pizza Hut where Esso Girl is waiting on the Original Pringles mascot and the Pringles Hot & Spicy mascot. Ronald McDonald swerves to avoid the school bus and tips his truck over in front of the Pizza Hut. Several guns and biological weapons spill out of the back of the truck, tempting Big Boy and Haribo to steal them for sale on the black market. Ronald McDonald knocks out Haribo with his foot, takes Big Boy hostage, and runs into the Pizza Hut. Inside, Big Boy bites Ronald McDonald and runs for cover behind the counter with Esso Girl. Enraged, Ronald McDonald opens fire, giving the police the excuse to start firing on him, and he kills one of the police officers.
As the gun battle explodes into the streets, a low rumbling can be heard across the entire city. A giant earthquake opens a fissure in the shape of Microsoft's Xbox video game console logo, which splits the streets of the city open. Big Boy and Esso Girl escape the rapidly crumbling Pizza Hut and steal a cop car. While running from the police on a stolen Grease 2 motorcycle, Ronald McDonald runs into a fallen Weight Watchers sign and is thrown off, sliding into a crevasse shaped like the Zenith logo. As he tries to pull himself out, he is run over by Esso Girl and Big Boy's car. The duo barely escape the city, speeding along a curved highway shaped like the VAIO logo. As they near the Hollywood chewing gum Hollywood sign, it falls apart, sending the giant letters crashing onto the highway in front of them. While evading one of the letters, they veer off the highway and down a hill, crashing into a tree. Crude oil erupts from the rifts around town and floods Los Angeles. The hill Esso Girl and Big Boy are on splits in two, revealing a giant North Face logo. Eventually, the land crumbles around them, swallowed by the sea, leaving them on a tiny island together (with Esso Girl picking up a coloured Apple and taking a bite). The film closes by zooming out to reveal that California has been separated from mainland and is now shaped like the Nike logo, but also that the entire universe is made up of even more logos. After the credits, a bald, black eyed, and partly toothless Ronald McDonald laughs menacingly and says "I'm lovin' it."
The entirety of Logorama is made up of brand images and logos, with these brand images and logos used to represent characters, props, locations, vehicles, and other content. Notable uses within the film include the McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald used to depict the villain, and Michelin Men used to depict the police. Some of the logos are derived from fictional works, however, including that of Slurm from Futurama as well as the Ghostbusters logo.
Logorama explores the extent to which logos are embedded in our daily existence. H5 members said, "Logorama presents us with an over-marketed world built only from logos and real trademarks that are destroyed by a series of natural disasters (including an earthquake and a tidal wave of oil). Logotypes are used to describe an alarming universe (similar to the one that we are living in) with all the graphic signs that accompany us everyday [sic] in our lives. This over-organized universe is violently transformed by the cataclysm becoming fantastic and absurd. It shows the victory of the creative against the rational, where nature and human fantasy triumph."
Logorama has received the following nominations and awards:
- Kodak Discovery Award for Best Short Film (the Kodak Prix)- Critics' Week, Cannes Film Festival 2009 – Won
- Audience Award – Festival International de Curtas Metragans 2009
- Audience Award – Lille International Short Film Festival 2009
- Jury's Special Prize, Audience Prize, Fuji Prize for Best Directors – Cinanima International Animated Film Festival 2009
- Best Short Film – Stockholm International Film Festival 2009
- Best Direction, Audience Award – Vendôme Film Festival 2009
- Gold Medal for Animation – Zinebi, Bilbao International Film Festival 2009
- Oscar for Best Animated Short – 82nd Academy Awards 2010 – Won
- Best Short Film – Césars 2011
- Foodfight! - A 2012 animated film that also features product mascots as characters; seen as one of the worst animated films of all time.