You may have noticed some dark themes in cartoons as a kid, in fact, I wrote some dark scenes in a cartoon I used to watch as a kid in my recent post, and it was quite a revelation for me.
It’s not surprising that cartoons are often used to depict the less sunny aspects of society. With lively music and charming characters, they can make difficult topics more accessible and easier to process. And of course, cartoons use visuals to convey their messages in a way that is both imaginative and easy to understand.
But have you ever seen them presented with the creativity and depth that Steve Cutts brings to the table?
If you’re not familiar with him or any of his works, Steve Cutts is an illustrator and animator based in London, England. Prior to becoming independent, he lent his exceptional illustration skills to renowned brands such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Google, and Sony through Glue Isobar, a creative agency in London. Now, he’s making a name for himself with his incredible artwork.
Steve is a master of short animated films that transport us back to the golden age of cartoons while still keeping things fresh and modern. His masterpiece from 2012, MAN, is the star of the show. It’s a viral sensation with over 60 million views on YouTube alone, making Steve a certified hitmaker with 1.65 million followers to boot!
With his unique visual storytelling and ability to bring the darker side of society to light, you’re in for a treat.
In his 2012 film, “Man,” Cutts showcases the ugly side of human behavior, where we treat nature and animals with a shocking lack of respect and care, turning the world into a gigantic trash bin.
But it’s not just about consumerism. It’s a powerful call to action for environmentalism and animal rights activism.
Cutts brilliantly captures the heartbreaking reality of how our actions affect the world around us. Through his stunning animation, he shows us how our obsession with consumerism has led to a rapid decline in our planet’s health.
In 2020, Steve Cutts updated his film with “MAN 2020,” taking into account the current state of our world. The film showcases how the pandemic has forced us to retreat into our homes, and how nature is taking back what’s rightfully hers.
The new version of “Man” is a testament to Cutts’ unparalleled skills in animation and storytelling. He not only highlights the devastating consequences of our actions but also inspires us to reflect on how we can make a positive impact on the world around us. Through his art, he encourages us to take action and make a change.
“Happiness” by Steve Cutts is a masterpiece that brilliantly captures the downside of consumerism and capitalism in our society. Personally, this is my favorite Cutts’ piece.
Through the use of rats as a metaphor for people, Cutts successfully portrays how people are trapped in the rat race of consumerism, continuously seeking happiness through material possessions and temporary pleasures.
The film’s striking visuals and haunting soundtrack effectively convey the message that consumerism and capitalism have transformed happiness into an illusion, a commodity that can be bought and sold.
The image of a rat trapped in a cycle of consumerism is a powerful reminder that many people are similarly trapped in an endless cycle of work, spend, and repeat.
Cutts’ use of Black Friday sales, alcohol, and pills for happiness effectively highlights how society is quick to offer easy and short-lived solutions to problems that are much deeper and more complex.
The film’s poignant conclusion with the rats trapped in a rattrap searching for happiness in a place that is only sickening their lives is a sad but accurate reflection of how many people feel in today’s world.
In the Fall (2011)
Imagine you’re watering your plants on the tippy-top of your apartment building, minding your own business, when all of a sudden…you slip on a banana peel which leads you to the corner of the building, then a little flutter bug scared the bejeezus out of you. Next thing you know, you’re falling off the building and plummeting to your demise.
And as you’re hurtling towards certain doom, your life flashes before your eyes and you realize that all those years spent working yourself to the bone have left you with no real memories to show for it.
As the saying goes, “Don’t live the same day for 75 years and then call it a life.” So, with death staring you in the face, you decide to light up a smoke and finally let go of that fear. Hey, at least you had a happy childhood, right?
Now, I know this story sounds like a total downer, but I promise there’s a lesson to be learned here. Don’t wait until you’re falling from a skyscraper to start living your life – make every day count! And for the love of Pete, watch your step around those pesky banana peels.
But seriously, Steve Cutts’ In The Fall really hit me hard and made me rethink my outlook on life. Plus, Game of Pricks is a banger. I’ll definitely play that song at my wake.
A Brief Disagreement (2022)
Einstein said that World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. And honestly, who needs nukes when you can just have a good old-fashioned stick fight, right?
Well, Steve Cutts has taken this idea and run with it in his animated short “A Brief Disagreement.” It’s a real masterpiece that shows how the weapons of war have evolved over millions of years, but the underlying hatred between humans remains as primitive as ever.
The whole thing is narrated by a bunch of neanderthal cavemen who operate every weapon throughout the ages, causing complete chaos wherever they go. And when everything is reduced to rubble, what do they do? They pick up a stick and start over.
I mean, come on. It’s kind of hilarious that all this trouble started over a shiny rock, isn’t it? And even after all the wars and destruction, when there are only two of them left, they still can’t resist fighting each other…with a stick. Like, come on, guys, can’t we just hug it out? Or maybe share a cup of tea and some crumpets? Just a thought.
The Turning Point (2020)
You’re living your best life, driving your fancy car, eating at the finest restaurants, and ordering whatever you want online. Life couldn’t be better, right?
In this eye-opening video, Steve Cutts takes us on a journey through a world where humans have wreaked havoc on the environment, leading to the apocalypse. The visuals are stunning, yet terrifying – showing the devastating effects of climate change, species extinction, and environmental destruction.
But what really sets “The Turning Point” apart is its unique perspective. It flips the script and imagines a world where animals are in charge, and humans are the ones on the brink of extinction. It’s a powerful reminder that we are not the only ones who call this planet home, and that our actions have real, lasting consequences.
So why should we be careful of our actions? Well, “The Turning Point” shows us that our current path is not sustainable. If we continue to prioritize short-term gains over long-term sustainability, we could end up living in a world where our beaches are made of plastic and our air is thick with pollution.
More About Steve Cutts
During an interview with Featured-E Magazine, Steve Cutts explained that his art centers on the waste and debris produced by our society. He believes that our consumerist lifestyle heavily influences how we interact with our surroundings, which is a major inspiration for his work. Additionally, Cutts draws from the darkly humorous nature of the serious problems humanity faces on a daily basis. He believes that if these situations were not already happening to us, the idea of them would be laughable.
Furthermore, Cutts shared his personal experience of leaving the London-based creative agency Glueisobar and becoming a freelance artist. He acknowledged that taking this step was a risk, as he was prepared for the possibility of being homeless and living under a bridge within just six months.
However, he found the transition to be smoother than he initially thought. Since he still had many industry contacts from his time at Glue, he was able to secure a steady stream of work. Although it was daunting at first to take on new responsibilities, he found that the newfound freedom was well worth it.
Cutts also recognized the importance of social media in expanding his reach and allowing him to connect with audiences that would have been challenging, if not impossible, to reach without it, particularly when it came to his films. He even humorously commented that without social media, he might have had to resort to selling his work out of a suitcase on Brick Lane or a similar location.
Cutts also expressed his belief that the general madness of humanity is a vast source of inspiration, but he also recognizes that not all of his work needs to have a heavy message. Sometimes his pieces can be weighty and thought-provoking, while at other times, they can be lighthearted and humorous.