Some of the best sci-fi stories are the ones that come outta left field and just do something weird and new. And the animated sci-fi short Scavengers does just that, taking you on a surreal, beautiful, and at times disturbing journey. The tl;dr version: if you haven’t seen this trippy gem? Stop what you’re doing and watch it right now.
Scavengers is about two cosmonauts stranded on “Vesta Minor” – a strange planet filled with bizarre creatures. Their mission to establish a human settlement on the planet hits a snag when their ship malfunctions, costing them the life of the third cosmonaut on their journey and severing contact with Earth. The film shows us a day in the life of these two pioneers and the bizarre, Mouse Trap-esque rituals that are part of their routine. Everything they do takes an unexpected turn and keeps you wondering what in the brave-new-world they’re doing up until the film’s last second.
The flat colors and cartoon-y style has a Moebius meets Steven Universe look to it, and is rich with strange creatures and alien landscapes. Which, let’s be real, is what you want from sci-fi.
The heads of the project, Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner, along with a small team of artists, animators, and composers, worked on bringing this short to life throughout most of last year, premiering it on Adult Swim’s Toonami in late December.
— Sean Buckelew (@SeanBuckelew) January 3, 2017
What starts as a survival tale ends up being a beautiful look at isolationism – emphasized by the lack of dialogue – and ultimately, coping and escapism. And at the very least? It’s one hell of an artistic journey. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of Vesta Minor!