To this day, I still have an unwavering admiration for animation artists who hand draw every single frame.

I first got to know Umbra from Doodlers Anonymous and suddenly, like the video, I realized why Umbra was so significant.

Directed by Malcolm Sutherland, Umbra is a story about a young explorer diving deep into the mysteries of life. This story oddly reminded me of Voltaire’s Candide because the themes almost screamed about the loss of innocence and the theory of perfect worlds.

The explorer is a white anthropoid being that encloses himself, or at least his brain, in a bubble. As he observes the world around him, he begins to notice odd things that he has never before recognized. Later, he finds himself a worm inside and protected by an apple. As the video continues, the explorer loses his bubble and he searches endlessly to find it. He sees that he is not the only one as more beings just like him are frantically running around as well. At the end, he suddenly sees that he is where he started. Except this time, he’s the one who will jump into the abyss.

He resembles Candide: innocent and protected from the world. Not only is the explorer confused by those around him, but he searches for the answer to what is happening. He finally realizes the imperfection of life, his safety and security compromised, and the sufferings that knowledge brings.


Thoughts on the piece?

-Brittany Lee