December 4, 2017

"Happiness" by Steve Cutts

Steve Cutts is one of my favourite illustrator/animators, and not only because of his artwork. Mostly, I like him because his artwork focuses on the excesses of modern society. And there is so much excess to excoriate.

He used to work for the dark side, doing animations for evil corporations like a certain sugary water beverage maker, a high tech firm making semi-disposable electronics, and one of the biggest car makers in the world.

Then he broke free of all that, and became a freelancer doing his own thing. Since then he has been stripping the curtain back from our sick system to show the reality of our madness.

One of his first short film was "MAN", in which Cutts says he explores our relationship with the natural world. It is not a pretty picture, but should be a wake up call.

In 2016/2017 he did two music videos for the singer Moby. Both, he says, highlight "consumerism, greed, corruption and ultimately our self-destructiveness". Readers of this blog will have an awareness of all those things.

Of his new animation (the short film above), Cutts states, "The story is of a rodent's unrelenting quest for happiness and fulfillment."

Warning - some scenes are disturbingly similar to humans' pursuit of the same, and may elicit a sense of the uncanny in certain viewers.


  1. Anonymous12/05/2017

    Thanks Gregg, well made short film. The trick is to ignore the cheap and easy dopamine hits and not need the disassociaters that are demonstrated in the video.

    1. Alex,

      So many temptations in the modern world, all leading us in wrong directions. It is hard to have discipline and self control when everything is constantly in our faces. It is hard for people that have money, to not spend money.

      More money = more temptation to buy the cheap and easy hits. Best to not have too much money. Just enough is about right.

  2. Wow. That's an excellent and slightly disturbing film. Very poignant. It really reminds me of a book that the children have that I love. It's called The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley (the rat). It's an absolute must read for kids and adults. Touches on pretty much everything this short film does.

    1. Karen,

      We looked at the book. Now want to get it from the public library. Thanks for the recommendation.


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