Hello - does anyone know what the name is of an animation short (looks like claymation) that has two male characters in a confined dingy room where they are typing away, one at a time, taking turns each to wind each other up. Their life depends on being wound up by the other one. They each finish typing just before they wind down and just have enough potential wind energy to wind the other one fully up before stopping, and so on.
It is a great animation with an excellent ending and theme. I don't know what they were typing.
If anybody has seen this animation short, then please contact me.
Regards.

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It would be very sad if this film was out of print. It makes the message of the film that much more poignant- that people depend on each other to keep themselves or their work going.

Hey Karl (Jarl?  ) - a question, if you can remember. Did each character have a key permanently in their back, or was there a single key that they both used? For some reason I started to think maybe I had seen this film and it was called The Key, but my mind was probably just playing tricks on me. Plus a search for The Key hasn't turned anything likely up yet. 

Mike- are you sure the title was English? There are a lot of clay animated films in Europe. That might make it harder to find.

Lol I don't think it's even a real memory to be honest! 

And we worry about false memories being created during hypnosis! :P :D

Positive I've seen this. Going to look harder.

The theme is similar to The Maker, in which a rabbit character dies after creating a female version of himself and passing on his life essence to his creation, who then builds a version of him who then builds a version of her... Could be what makes this sound a little bit familiar to someone who hasn't seen it. No typing involved in The Maker though. I haven't seen it but by now I really want to.

Now that you mention similar themes, wasn't there a scene in Return to Oz where Tik Tok (the wind up clockwork man) was running down and he was wise enough to oil the tin woodsman as his final act, and as soon as the woodsman could move again he wound up Tik Tok? Or something like that? 

Nevermind - I don't think there even was a tin woodsman in Return to Oz!! Tik Tok needed both his brain and his action wound up, and I think he also needed to be oiled. I seem to vaguely remember something where he was winding down in a room with one other character who was also winding down in some fashion and they each took their last moments of functionality to get the other one going - but again, this could be my overactive imagination inventing things. 

Thanks a lot for the replies everyone. Sorry for the late reply. I'll be back later to mention more details.

Spot on Strider! - Yes, they did indeed have what I remember as typical wind-up keys (clock-type ???) permanently stuck in their backs.

Ye, it was a while ago, so not sure if it was claymation. Not Quay Bro style, although I didn't want to rule anything out. I even looked up Tony Hart!
StopmoNick - sorry for the late reply ... I saw it on MySpace (back in those days, about 2006/7). I think it was on a young man's page and he was American. I think he was into maths, but I couldn't find him. He left MS a few years ago. He told me to check it out on his page at the time because it was a really good short video, about 5 - 10 min's long.

Strider - the wind keys were sticking out of the backs of both figures. So, you probably (?) came across the question I posted in Yahoo Answers [a few years ago] about this topic, where I mentioned the keys in their back. Somebody there told me to post on a website like this and I did a few years later.
It was a small room they were in. Morgan looks a bit too modern and sophisticated than this type. I really don't know how old it was; it may have been a really skillful work of art made to look like an older animation. Some artists might prefer that style anyway. Cartoon animation wouldn't do it justice; it needed to be stop-motion because of the symbolism of the wind-up people/creatures/toys. They looked like crude humans (men) really.
I'm really guessing here, but I think one of the characters stumbles and falls over and hits his head on the thin paper-like(?) wall and creates a small hole and it is at that moment that he realises that there is a whole other world out there. The skill of the animator conveys this idea.
Although, it is made in a less sophisticated style to the newer animation stuff of nowadays, it was exactly the right style and sophistication needed for this story. The creator(s) was/were like the Ken Loach/Mike Lee of animation - basic real life stuff in a way, but fantasy by its very nature. It had a magic to it that only this kind of animation (stop-motion) has. Hence the reason you can't use real people to create it and that would not convey the right meaning anyway, in regards to the wind-up characters.
It was very interesting when you mentioned Morgan's animation where a character was peeping through a hole; but that might be a coincidence. The Tik Tok character certainly conveys a very similar theme though. I'll look it up to see how old it is. Thanks for that; and thanks to Don & Nick too, and everyone else. :)

Don - I don't know the nationality of the artist or production. British comes to mind because it reminded me of a really crude Ardman style; but i'm probably wrong tho. The reason Ardman came to mind was because of the old English dingy feel, but much more basic than Wallace and Gromit. The characters were really depressing looking and the poverty and unhealthiness was very apparent. It reminds me now of how Orwell must have looked when typing out 1984, but these characters were crude looking and didn't look like anyone. They obviously looked like men, in fact working class men wearing the style they would in the 1940s, but scruffy tho. There was no window in the room, by the way. As you say, it was a good theme and in my mind it was about the need for us to help each other, but it was not without the realism of what selfishness can do. I'll continue with more details some other time and one day I'll write up as complete a story-line as I can.

Thanks again, everyone! :)

I can't say with any certainty, but there is a film about two boxers who literally pound the clay out of each other. If you can find that, you might find the artist was the same person who created the film about the wind-up characters. From what I can remember, the style was very similar. The animator-director on the boxing film was Hungarian, I believe.

Thanks Don, I couldn't find anything for the boxers (Hungarian?); and I had a quick look at Tik Tok from Return of Oz too. Altho a bit too graphic in regards to violence, I found Pans Labyrinth to be a good film and I'm sure there must have been some animation in that. I actually came across this animation just now - http://youtu.be/cqi5F5MqqTQ ... Do you know the artist? Both of these are nothing like what I'm looking for tho. The Boxer short film that you mentioned sounds very good! I'd like to find that one day too. Remember the NFBofC one with two real men in stop-motion who are neighbours and end up making a fence and fighting? That's not bad for its time.

Regarding the short stop-motion film that I am looking for, there is no music in it; at least not during it. This was a good idea, for better effect. The noises in the film were mainly the typing on an old fashioned typewriter, the windings, and the shuffling about. As one typed, the other one was standing to the side motionless/lifeless until the other one felt that it was time (a precise short period) to get up and wind the other one up. Seconds after he wound the other one up he sagged down a bit into a lifeless state - what we would interpret today as the batteries going dead; or in the older days when the coil was fully unwound. Then the other one would go over to the typewriter and sit down and type.
Maybe they should have called it - This Mortal Coil?? Na! - too cliche. – will refer to it from now on as ‘Mortal Coil’ tho!
These two characters were similar to each other. The slightly taller one was the good guy and the other one was the selfish one. You realise he's selfish at the end. They are both like automatons in a way and they just type away like machines. But a bit more character comes to light towards the end. It's enough character in this minimalistic style to convey enough of a message and a great message too.

The meaning comes at the end and the gist of it is as follows: When one of the men is moving about, he falls down and causes damage to the wall and a little hole appears to the outside world. He then starts to peep through the hole and seems engrossed. It must have been fascinating for him considering the dull life he was leading. So, his curious human characteristics start to reveal themselves at this point. He then realises that he has used up valuable time by doing this and quickly rushes over to the other inanimate man and winds him up, and just in time too. I think at this point or the next one, the newly wound up one then starts looking at the hole and goes over and peeps through it. At this point or the next, he gets so involved in the hole (and I think he starts to make it bigger) that he forgets to wind the other one up and he soon drops down and stops - for good this time, because the other one is lifeless too!
You get a sense that the one who forgot, or did not have the foresight to wind the other one up, was selfish. I guess you'd have to come to your own conclusions about any other themes that I've missed. If you saw it you'd probably get a lot more of the meaning for sure.
A reproduction at this point would be a good idea and then there's a chance, if it becomes popular, for somebody to say - "Eh, that's a copy of a great ...". Ahaha.

Who knows, I might have had a vivid dream about this whole thing and it doesn't exist! Eh, Strider? ;)

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