Cuddles on the couch, half-eaten shoes, picking up poop in the park—there are a lot of nuances to the human/dog relationship, many of them captured in endlessly-reshared viral videos.
‘Hound’ is an animated short with a fresh look on this relationship. This ain’t no Pedigree ad—it’s gross, surreal, and pointedly funny.
Director and animator Georgia Kriss made ‘Hound’ for her graduate project. “It’s about the concept of selective breeding, and how human beings consciously shape and mould the creatures around us to better fit our needs and desires,” she says. “Often with unfortunate outcomes for the species involved.”
The film doesn’t have any dialogue, but the point is made visually. Expressionistic animation warps recognizable dog breeds into caricatures—sometimes grotesquely. One canine is larger than a house and casually squashes things with its paw, while another grows a third eye and levitates. There are extreme close-ups of a dog’s butt and a maggot-infested rat, and one bulldog is plainly an alcoholic.
The stream-of-consciousness style is maybe due to its unconscious genesis—the idea came to Kriss in a nap.
“I had a dream that I made a big old dog film for my graduate piece, and it went down really great in the dream, there were parades and what not. So I woke up and thought, well, I guess that’s my film,” she says.
Kriss cites influences like Ren and Stimpy, Adventure Time, Beavis and Butthead and the Simpsons—and it’s easy to see their manic and expressive sense of fun in ‘Hound’.
All in all, ‘Hound’ is a warts-and-all tribute to our furry friends In all their slobbery glory.