Manivald (2017) introduces us to the eponymous, overeducated and unemployed fox is his 30s, who lives with his retired mother. Their unhealthy co-dependence is about to change when the washing machine breaks down and Toomas – a sexy and adventurous wolf repairman, comes to fix it.
Throughout the years you have created a unique world filled with drunk rabbits, gigolo wolves and lonely cats. How do you build up your universe, and what’s the main idea behind Manivald?
Manivald is a cautionary tale about all the things that can go wrong if you stay living at home for too long. It also offers some useful tricks for mothers who are looking for ways to get their offspring to move out. And I guess another important idea behind Manivald is that even though life sucks and is full of disappointments, you can still find comfort in art.
The way I’m building my universe is quite organic. In the beginning there was Manivald, then there was a grumpy rat called Herman, and of course the absinthe rabbits. Often I would just make some sketches with them and another character would emerge from the scribbles. Then the scribble would end up as a secondary character in one of my films, and if it turns out interesting enough the creature might end up with a film of its own. I like for my films to be connected in this way, if the characters repeat from film to film, it gives a feeling of a real existing world. I read a lot of Balzac when I was a teenager, and this is something he was using a lot, a side character from one book would be the main character in another. I guess it inspired me a bit.
Chintis Lundgren is a Croatian-based Estonian animator whose films have screened at festivals such as Ottawa, Sundance and Annecy. She’s currently developing an animated TV-series Manivald and the Absinthe Rabbits.
Keep an eye on Chintis’ work