A trailer for the Tom DeLonge-penned short animated film Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker
premiered this morning and boy is it underwhelming. It's got pretty enough 2D animation (the 3D bits don't meld too well, though) and a pleasing art style that looks like a slightly sanitized version of Jamie Hewlett's work, but the story and music screams "generic." You've got the sensitive young loner (groaningly named "Poet," in case his character design didn't say enough about how artistic he is), the sexy young goth love interest, the mysterious mentor figure, a bunch of pretentious nonsense about the world "between fantasy and nightmares" (aren't nightmares a kind of fantasy?) and a soundtrack from Angels & Airwaves
that plays like everything else they've ever done: bombastic and painfully "inspirational." It sounds like the kind of escapist wish-fulfillment a teenager would cobble together and looks it, too.
Which is the point, I suppose, but it's hard not to feel disappointment when it's clear that there's a real level of artistic talent behind the animation that could be out working on something that doesn't feel like every action cartoon made for young boys in the last 20 years. I guess I'll have to reserve judgement until it debuts at the Toronto International Short Film Festival next month or December 9th when it drops online to offer a real review, but until then you can color me skeptical.
The trailer's below if you're feeling like a teenage boy: