Posted March 24, 2023 9:03 pm ET
Calgary cartoon Tank Standing Buffalo’s new movie MONSTR is now streaming on HBO Max
A Calgary animator’s newest cartoon began streaming Thursday night on HBO Max.
Tank Standing Buffalo’s MONSTR was one of eight animated shorts selected from over 1,200 submissions to be part of the HBO Max series Only You: An Animated Shorts Collection.
MONSTR deals with Standing Buffalo’s struggle with inner demons while apprenticing with a Northwest totem carver after the death of his wife Marsha.
“My partner Marsha died suddenly in my arms from a brain aneurysm,” Standing Buffalo said in a statement. “One moment he was there, the next he was gone. Without her I was lost.
“I left Calgary to walk the west coast until I couldn’t walk anymore and ended up on the doorstep of carver Phil Ashby. He saw I was in trouble and took me inside. I began a difficult apprenticeship for a year and a half. I learn from him and another carver. The teachings were hard, but they helped me heal.
“MONSTR takes place during my time with Phil and brings to life how I dealt with the grief of Marsha’s death. It’s my story, that’s all I can tell.”
Standing Buffalo worked with co-writer Xstine Coo, producer Amanda Miller and composers Cara Adu-Darko and Brandon Smith on the film, which features music by Walter MacDonald White Bear.
The film features the voices of Corey Feldman and Tristan Risk.
It is Standing Buffalo’s third animated short, following RKLSS (2020), which screened at TIFF, and SAVJ (2021), which is currently screening at various film festivals.
HBO flew Standing Buffalo to Los Angeles for the Hollywood premiere of MONSTR on Tuesday night.
In his artist statement, Standing Buffalo said art literally saved his life – and his emergence as a rising animation star began with a scholarship he received to attend an animation workshop in Calgary.
“I fell in love with animation six years ago when I received a scholarship through the Quickdraw Animation Society in Calgary,” he said. “I am a person who thrives on routine and discipline. I appreciate the meditative repetition required to create animations.
“In creating my first two autobiographical shorts with monster and fantasy elements, I discovered that telling my story through animation is a form of time travel; my art heals the person I used to be.”
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