A student gets bored in biology class, after a few scribbles his notebook gets taken over by a robot elephant.
Stop-motion to perfection. ‘(Notes) On Biology’ brings you back directly to your Biology desk and sinks you back into your day dreams where your teacher would sounded like the one from Charlie Brown (Wah wah). The subtle stop-motion used on the live characters at the beginning of the short is just enough to give you a hint that you are watching an animated short, but still feel like you are right at your desk. You need to patient through the first couple of minutes as Ellis walks in late to class settles into his books, but your patience will be rewarded once he begins to scribble and let his imaginations take you away. The flip-book style animation brings his robot elephant to a destruction rampage right through his biology notes, what the short lacks in narrative it makes up in fun creativity.
The audio on the short is also fantastic, starting from the classroom sounds to the fading teacher’s voice and ending into Mr. Ellis’ whispering vocal sound effects and action soundtrack to bring his animations to life (C’mon we’ve all done it). The sounds of scribbling and paper-flipping along with explosions and jetpacks is just spot on!
As a creative artist this short gave me something I could relate to. All my classes started like Ellis’ and quickly phased into scribbling cars and soccer balls through my pages. No, they did not move like ‘(Notes On) Biology’, but what Ornana did is manage to bring out all the details we imagine when we draw. We might not have time to draw 2000 frames in one class, but our minds can certainly imagine each frame before we draw, and that’s what (Notes On) Biology shows us. Let your imagination do the work!