Red Princess Blues (Animated Short) (2007) – By Duane L. Martin

 Alex Ferrari never ceases to amaze me with the quality of the work that comes out of his production company, The Enigma Factory. This time around, he sent me an anime style animated short that’s being used to build up a buzz for an upcoming live action feature of the same name – Red Princess Blues.

The story in the animated short is about a 12 year old girl who takes a bat to the groin of a guy who raped her friend, basically insuring that he’ll never rape anyone ever again. After that, she’s sent by her grandmother to another country to find her father. When she arrives, she ends up in a book shop where her father was supposed to be, but finds another man named Nino instead. He tells her that her father is dead and that he promised that he’d take care of her if she were to ever show up. He’s a tough guy and seems like he’d rather not have the responsibility, but he made a promise and he keeps it, which tells us something about his character right there.

The girl is put to work in the book shop, and one day while cleaning the back room, she finds a trunk. In the trunk, she finds more books, but these books are hollowed out inside and contain a variety of weapons. After Nino discovers that she’s found the weapons and shows some knowledge of them, which she says she got from her father, he apparently trains her. The short ends with her grown up and she has the weapons strapped all over her. She’s going to get her revenge, I believe against the people who killed her father, but I don’t think it was clearly stated that that’s who she wanted revenge against.

In any case, this was a brilliant looking piece of animation. The artwork was top notch and it just goes to show what you can do with animation. See, the short wasn’t highly animated. Much of it was still pictures with certain things in the scene animated while the rest wasn’t. This style of animation, while cutting down on production time, also has the side effect of setting a distinct mood for the piece. Alex Ferrari wrote the story, but the direction and animation credits for the short belong to Dan Cregan who did just a phenomenal job.

The incredibly hot Paula Garces from Harold and Kumar go to White Castle was a producer on this short, voiced the girl and will be starring as the girl in the feature film. I was pleasantly surprised to find that out when Alex told me. I really liked her in that film and it’s great to see her involved in a film that Alex is making because he’s simply just a brilliant and highly talented film maker.

The feature is in pre-production right now, but I’m telling you, after seeing what Alex has come up with in the past, I’m going to be waiting on the edge of my seat to see the new film. I just hope it doesn’t take too awful long. I’m by nature highly impatient. Then again, stuff like this is worth the wait.

Red Princess Blues is making its way around to various film festivals. If you get a chance to see it, definitely make it a point to. It’s simply brilliant.

If you’d like to find out more about this short and the upcoming feature, you can check out The Enigma Factory website at http://www.enigmafactory.com.