Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

ECOmotion Studios on Huffaker’s crazy experiments to make prey and predators coexist

Posted 06 Oct 2015 / 0

Here’s the last of four ECOmotion Studios animated shorts celebrating the Ecological Society of America’s centennial.

This one’s a bit thin in my humble opinion. It captures the essentials of Huffaker’s really odd experiments (I am always struck by what extents Huffaker had to go to stabilize predator and prey populations), but mostly uses the narrative to communicate the big ideas. The animation could have been used to better show the dynamics of why prey can survive in more complex environments, but it really wasn’t used effectively in this way.

I recognize that it is challenging to make a good animated short that captures ecological science, or science in general. But let’s make the challenge clear: a good animated short designed to explain science has to use the animation to visually depict ideas that are not easy to imagine via narrative. So when the narrative dominates and the animation decorates, the full potential of an animated short is not being used.

A Minor Post, Ecological Society of America, Ecology Education, Film & Video, Film, Television, & Video, Predation, Science in Art & Design, System Stability

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