Danger Planet

"During a routine scan on a distant planet, a young space scout finds romance with a female pilot. But when peril strikes the two star-crossed explorers, he must face what lurks in the darkness of the planet to rescue the girl."

I’m continually impressed by the quality of student films I get to post about on the Animated Review. Here we have the fun ‘Danger Planet’ animated by Justin Burk along with his fellow students at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee. This four minute student animation was finished primarily in a summer, after over a year of preproduction, with animators Justin Burks and Danny Cooper turning their home into an animation studio. The extra time and effort spent by these dedicated students really shows the final result is excellent. Two elements of the short that stood out to me as being especially good we’re the depth and detail in the background art and the simple almost silhouette design to the monster.

Justin and his fellow students obviously have a love for the art form, not only demonstrated by their dedication, but with the subtle references to certain cartoon characters and feature films. I don’t know if it’s deliberate but one scene seems to pay homage to the Podracing scene in ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’, another seems to parallel ‘Top Gun’. The lead character designs owe much to Marvin the Martian and Eve from ‘Wall-E’. Stylistically the space suits are very similar to Marvin’s and the expressive eye movements are similar to those seen in Eve.These seemingly intentional references only added to my enjoyment of the short.

I've posted the short film and a making of below for your enjoyment:

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