Independent animator and illustrator Ana Mouyis’ surreal animated short follows a bipedal black cat as she confronts fear and challenges insecurity on a journey to learn to swim. “In essence, Pussy! is about ambition and desire versus instinct and cultural expectations,” Mouyis tells The Creators Project. Originally, the film was going to follow a female character's struggle to accomplish something that may be outside of her comfort zone or what others expect of her, however Mouyis’ felt that changing the protagonist to cat would make the story more universal. The film explores misconceptions that surround animals—i.e., all cats hate water—and with its title, takes an obvious jab at negative gender stereotypes.
Mouyis incorporates Photoshop animation, hand-painted backgrounds, paint-on-glass direct animation, and stop-motion all in one 3-minute film. The backgrounds are made up of all hand painted elements that she colors and assembles digitally. “I am fascinated by the expressiveness of hand painted brush strokes and how it can add a warmth to digital media,” Mouyis continues. “I had been experimenting with paint-on-glass direct animation and found a way to incorporate the textures seamlessly with the piece. For the underwater scenes I used a sequence of paint-on-glass textures and time stretched the frames digitally so they morph into each other and have a slightly strange, watery feeling to them.”
Check out some screenshots from the stunning animated short, and watch Pussy! in full, below:
For more of Ana Mouvis’ work, head over to her website here.