Technological Threat is a 5-minute animated film made by Brian Jennings and Bill Kroyer in 1988. It was an example of early computer animation, integrated with traditional animation, and is itself an allegory for the threat computer animation represented to traditional animators. The robots and backgrounds were drawn based on computer-generated 3D models, while the dogs were drawn by hand.
The film takes place in an office staffed by six suit-wearing dogs, or perhaps wolves, who hand-copy documents using pencils. One of the dog workers passes out because of overwork. The boss drops him through a trapdoor below the worker's desk, and replaces him with a robot that writes faster. Another worker yawns, and is also dropped through a trapdoor under his desk and replaced by a robot. Three more are eliminating for drinking water, sneezing and injury (the fourth worker desperately plugs his nose with two pencils, but is unable to keep from sneezing, propelling the pencils into the fifth one's head). They are replaced by more robots. The remaining worker, madly scribbling away, is shocked to discover that his boss has been replaced by a boss robot. When the latter leaves, the last worker decides to take action, and begins destroying the robots in various cartoony ways (blowing one up with a stick of dynamite, dropping another through its desk trapdoor, yet another by hitting it with different objects, and electrically shocking another into a pile of cinders). As the worker and the one remaining robot are locked in a life-or-death struggle, they see the boss robot threatening to push the trapdoor button. In a sudden instance of cooperating, they shove the trapdoor beneath the boss robot, who falls in. As the two workers peer down the open trapdoor, the dog becomes aware of the opportunity being presented and shoves the robot in. The worker dog clamps the boss's cigar between his teeth and pushes the trapdoor button, ending the film.
Technological Threat was featured on the DVD Computer Animation Festival Vol. 2 (renamed Computer Animation Experience in 2001). It also aired in the second third-season episode of Liquid Television, in 1993.
At the 1988 Ottawa International Animation Festival, Technological Threat shared the prize for "Best film under 5 minutes" with Paul Vester's Picnic. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Animated Short Film in 1989.
- The film's credits explain that the robotic "Dweeb", the "Blocky Boss", and all backgrounds were rendered on a Silicon Graphics IRIS 3120 workstation.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
- OIAF 1988 awards list
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