Opthomas Prime is ready to bust some buffers

I’ve yet to introduce my kids to the awesomeness that is Transformers, but we have watched more than our fair share of Thomas and Friends. As such, I think this video mash-up of the two titles—created by “professional Transformer devotee” James Farr for his son Vector—might be the best possible introduction to everyone’s favorite Cybertronians.

Well done, Mr. Farr. You’ve made geek dads around the world both proud and envious beyond measure. And it should go without saying that this is far more enjoyable than all of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies combined.

Hiroyasu Ishida’s “Rain Town” is a haunting, beautiful animated short

Rain Town by Hiroyasu Ishida

I’m sitting here in my office, listening to the sounds of a truly lovely Nebraska spring thunderstorm. As such, it only feels appropriate to write about Rain Town, the latest short film from Japanese animator Hiroyasu Ishida. Ishida made a bit of splash back in 2009 with the frantic and hilarious Fumiko’s Confession. Rain Town is a complete one-eighty from Fumiko’s Confession, though: a haunting, mysterious tone piece set in a town where the rain never stops. Or, as the official synopsis puts it:

In this town, since who knows when, rain has never stopped.
Residents moved out to suburbs and high ground around “Rain Town.”
People’s memories are now deeply submerged.
But into this forgotten rainy town sometimes, someone wanders.

I’ve embedded the short below, but I highly recommend watching it in HD in order to experience the full extent of Ishida’s lush designs and animation.

Rain Town was Ishida’s graduation film at Kyoto Seika University. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a lot more from him in the near future. Via Twitch.

Watch 14 minutes of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”

Game of Thrones

The HBO press machine has been in full swing lately, releasing one teaser or “behind the scenes” featurette after another. However, this one trumps them all: it’s the opening minutes of Game of Thrones, and includes our first glimpses of both the Wall and the lands beyond it, and Winterfell, home of honorable House Stark. Sure, I have some relatively minor quibbles—one of my favorite scenes in the entire series, a discussion between Eddard Stark and his son Bran on the nature of courage, is truncated—but overall, it looks fantastic. Winter can’t come fast enough.

A new contender for world’s most impressive commercial

Remember the Honda commercial that came out in 2006 that showed off all of the parts of the Accord in a Rube Goldberg-esque set-up? It obviously required a ton of planning, and 606 takes, but the results are elegant, striking, and even beautiful. But I think this Japanese commercial may very well trump it. I won’t say who or what it’s for—that’s part of the surprise—but it’s simpler and more direct than Honda’s commercial, while being no less technically brilliant. And the beautiful forest setting certainly doesn’t hurt.

Arcade Fire Just Want To Have Fun

One of the things that I like so much about Arcade Fire is that they’re perfectly willing and able to take a break from their normal apocalyptic musings about alienation and social breakdown, and just kick out the jams. Case in point, this performance of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” at a recent benefit concert in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.