80s-inspired short reveals Pluto's secrets

stellar moves pluto

NASA may have made the headlines with their most detailed image of Pluto yet, but this team of animators captured the quirky side of the forgotten planet with their 80's-inspired short, Stellar Moves.

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Millivette Gonzalez, Tabia Lees and Valerie Sattazahn focused their senior project at Ringling College of Art and Design on the downgrading of Pluto, creating a retrospective homage to the often ignored planet.

The short tells the story of the Pluto, who decides against joining the exclusive and cliquey intergalactic dance group, 'The Planets', in support of his 'weirdo' best friend, Charon."We always felt that Pluto had something untold about his story, that could involve a lot of heart and take place in an interesting world," explains Valerie.

stellar moves progression

From concept art to cartoon: the trio managed to capture Pluto and Charon as perfect spheres, then animated character they needed, a tough job!

Valerie explains that the team were aiming for "something that would grab people and invite them to keep imagining past what we showed them. Choosing such a zany premise, we had no idea what would happen or how it would look – and there was something that really excited us about that."


Pluto pulling off some Stellar Moves in order to make the cut into the exclusive intergalactic dance group, The Planets

"We were also very inspired by the 1980's, and looked to content with that feeling and aesthetic," Valerie continues. "We referenced a lot of classics like Back to the Future, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Footloose, Rocky, Napoleon Dynamite, as well as some modern throwback shows like Regular Show. Stylistically we were aiming to have a Cartoon Network shape language with detailed, believable textures. Almost like something you would see in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

The team, affectionately referring to themselves as The Llamanauts are potentially pitching the premise as a television show, "Our artistic aspirations are to continue learning and strive for innovation," comments Tabia.

Watch the short

This is an extended version of an article that originally appeared in 3D World 198, on sale now!

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