Working on an animation movie was something completely new for me. I took this project as a challenge and as an opportunity to learn the basics of stop-motion.
Since I didn’t know how long and difficult it was to direct a stop-motion movie, I wrote a script with few different situations and scenes. I wanted to make a full-out Western. When I started working with the clay and taking pictures, I realized that my idea was too ambitious, and I decided to focus on a show down.
When I was a child, I watched a lot of Westerns. My friends and I often liked to play cowboys and Indians. I realized that today’s youth isn’t interested in the Wild West anymore, so I wanted to bring it back onto the screen, but in a way that has never been done before. Instead of the Wild West, we have the Wild North. Snow instead of sand, and of course the tumbleweed has been transformed into a plain barren tree branch.
I wanted to create a movie for children, but with enough references for adults. The music, composed by Jérémie Ezri, is reminiscent of that great Ennio Morricone sound. The close-up on the eyes of the three characters alludes to the last scene of Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Then there’s the slow-motion scene where the snowman sidestep the snowball, which reminds one of that famous scene from “The Matrix.”
Since I was working on a movie for children, I tried to add a moral to the story. The foolishness of the two snowmen led them to battle until their absolute destruction. Neither of them is the winner. We can identify with the walrus, who is merely a witness with no comprehension of what is happening except that “life is nothing, but a fistful of snow…”