< Cartoonan Films, seriously funny animation by Gail Noonan
Gail Noonan of Cartoonan Films makes engaging short animations on everything from body image, menopause, square dancing to lost mittens


More Sensitive


Lost and Found

The Menopause Song

Your Name in Cellulite

Two Beautiful Stars

Play Ball!


35mm  2002
also on video

Honey is a 6 minute animated film based on a poem of the same name by American writer Robert Morgan which showed up on the fax machine one day. I loved how the poem started out with practical advice on beekeeping and culminated in a gloriously literate and spiritual summation of what honey is made up of.

My idea for the film was to take a whimsical look at the relationship between the keeper and the bees while drawing parallels between their behaviour. I used a combination of animation methods including cutouts, pixillation and a form of moving collage. I also combined live action with animation to blend Irish dancing with the honey bee communication dance. The dance was performed to MmmmHaa, a piece by Carla Hallett. The remaining music which accompanies the field sequence and closing credits was composed by Robert Minden and performed by both Robert Minden and Carla Hallett. As with the previous film Lost and Found, their music was a match made in heaven.

The middle section of the film consists of a reading of the poem by Robert Morgan with pixillated images of the keeper and the two worker bees. The bees are actually people in work shirts toiling away at a table producing honey. The keeper glides in to steal the honey comb and replace it with an empty frame for them to begin filling again. As the poem proceeds, describing how to look after bees, we see how the bees react to their treatment. Ultimately honey is the distillation of the efforts of both species along with their surrounding environment.

The moving collage takes us through the seasons of one particular field in a year. I was thinking of how we recall things, usually starting out with a recent memory and then going backwards from there. Memory can also be a bit non linear or particular events will stand out. I had the sequence where the field is being mowed for haying moving forwards in time. I then switched into reverse for the transition from spring back to winter.

The end credits had been carefully scripted out to synch up with the music but since I had all kinds of material at hand the impulse to add beads and dancing bees was too hard to resist. Spontaneous animation seems like an oxymoron but was a lot of fun in combination with carefully planned elements.



  • Edges Film Festival, Victoria, BC, Jury Award

  • RiverRun International Film Festival, Winston-Salem,NC,USA
  • Victoria Independant Film and Video Festival, Canada
  • Women in the Directors Chair, Chicago, IL, USA
  • 4th Brisbane International Animation Festival, Austrailia
  • 29th Northwest Film and Video Festival, Portland, OR, USA



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© Gail Noonan 2002-2008

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