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Minuscule
Format Animation
Created by Thomas Szabo
Directed by Hélène Giraud
Thomas Szabo
Country of origin France
Production
Producer(s) Phillipe Delarue
Jean-Jacques Benhamou
Running time 5 minutes, approx.
Production company(s) Futurikon
Broadcast
Original run October 25, 2006 – 2008

Minuscule is a growing collection of short animations that follow the day-to-day existence of anthropomorphic insects. The characters are modelled on computer in 3D and are then set against real scenery. Each animation has a short, self-contained and often humorous storyline. The audio is a combination of genuine insect and ambient recordings, and sound effects such as car or helicopter or aircraft engines, synthesized buzzings etc. Throughout each episode, no (human) words are ever spoken; nevertheless, anthropogenic 'insect-like words' are often trumpeted by the various protagonist insects. The background settings are mostly of rural France, and include farm houses, fences, cars, road surfaces, drains, gutters and garbage bins. Humans themselves appear only peripherally (if at all) and the only consistent peripheral witnesses to many of the goings-on are cows that appear as uninterested bystanders.

Contents

Storyline

The series has an overall feel very much like that of the 1996 movie "Microcosmos: Le peuple de l'herbe" with the same European country farm setting (for most episodes), similar camera angles and shots, and an almost identical musical score consisting largely of open-ended, repeated piano phrases. In fact the official website itself states that Minuscule might be called "a cross between Tex Avery and Microcosmos, or grassroots slapstick"[1]. The creators also cite the Warner Bros. cartoons of the 1950s as a model for the series, and they are aimed at both young and old alike. Episodes tend to follow one or more insect characters through a specific situation and have involved storylines such as multi-insect races reminiscent of the pod race sequence in Star Wars:The Phantom Menace, a spider becoming trapped on a helium balloon, and a grasshopper maliciously launching other unsuspecting insects from a catapult made from a blade of grass.

Broadcasting

It is the brainchild of creators Thomas Szabo and Helene Giraud, and is produced by Phillipe Delarue. Although made in France, its lack of spoken dialogue and the generalized country settings mean the episodes are meant to be viewed more universally, and not specific to one nation. Minuscule has a universal popularity that is reflected in the number of television stations across the world, such as the American Disney Channel and Australia's Free to Air ABC1, that are telecasting the series. Minuscule is also being popularized via online video sites such as Youtube or Metacafe. Episodes are around four to five minutes long.

Characters

Although each episode is largely self contained, there are recurring characters and jokes (such as views through the eyes of spiders, with accompanying dungeon-like dripping sound effects). Each of these regulars has a specific personality that is outlined on the official website. Among the more commonly recurring insect characters are:
Ladybug
Grasshopper
Fly
Ant
Spider
Snail

Other occasional insect characters include :

Worm & Caterpillar

External links

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