Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker (2014)
Dir. by Tom DeLonge, Edgar Martins, & Sergio Martins
Written by Tom DeLonge, Ben Kull, Edgar Martin, & Sergio Martin
You might know Tom DeLonge as the former lead guitarist/singer for the band Blink-182. Well now he's the front man for another band called Angels and Airwaves. His work has taken a more artistic turn in recent years, and instead of writing songs about fucking dogs, he's stepping into the world of animated features.
Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker is a short film intended as the first entry in a large multimedia project that will encompass books, comics, music, and eventually a supposed feature film. It was released to coincide with the Angles and Airwaves album The Dream Walker. The short won Best Animated Film at the Toronto Animated Short Film Festival.
The film revolves around its titular character, Poet Anderson. He's a lucid dreamer that enters a The Dream World, an alternate universe created by humankind's shared unconscious thoughts. We learn that in the dream world, certain people have powers and that they are called Dream Walkers. They protect the rest of the people in The Dream World from Night Terrors. Eventually, the line separating The Dream World and the real world gets broken, and Poet must fight his Night Terror in real life, becoming a Dream Walker.
The film is kind of light on story, it has just enough for you to piece together what's going on. But that's due mostly to it's 15 minute runtime. The real highlight of Dream Walker is the animation. It's very well done and really interesting to look at. It blends traditional 2D animation, as well as 3D computer generated elements for a cool effect. The aesthetic is very pleasing, with bits that make use of cell shading, and a wonderful color pallet. There are clear influences present, from anime like Akira, to films like Tron and A Clockworck Orange. Plus, the film's score is great. The music is done by the band, and they managed to fine tune the songs to fit perfectly with the tone of the film. It really does feel like a related project, a connected one, rather than one that has music shoehorned into it in an attempt to sell records.
Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker is technically impressive. It commands a mysterious, yet adventurous tone and atmosphere with it's visuals that draw one into the limited story. It's about as coherent as it can be due to it's short length. But it really is an interesting film. It makes me want more, it makes me want to see more of this world, more of this story. It's an interesting fantasy film that's definitely worth checking out, especially if you're into animated features.