“Double King” By Felix Colgrave
“Double King” is a two year in the making film by artist Felix Colgrave. It follows an unnamed character in his search to collect every possible crown from the royalty in the land. Although a simple idea at the surface, “Double King” constantly keeps viewers interest with its deeper interpretations and creative strengths.
One of these strengths falls under design. The character design is thoroughly original and imaginary. Its variety keeps viewers expectations of wanting more. Each design plays a part in the setting of the character as well. The screenshot above highlights a mushroom king and guard, both found at the bottom of a forest, where fungi would naturally be. Even with such vivid and different characters, the animation style stays consistent without distracting the audience.
Branching off from the smooth character design, the movement of the animation itself is fluid. This is another strength of the film, in which the viewer can appreciate the work put in to create seamless movement throughout. Colgrave puts as much effort into the background of the scene as he puts into the forefront. His style is innovative as it follows no real physical laws. An example of this being the field of flowers scene. All the plants are perceived the same size and two dimensional. The perspective of it stays simple and imaginative, consistent with the style of the film.
Another prevalent strength is the great sound design. Colgrave created the sound specifically for this film, making it perfectly suited. It’s also something to note that none of the characters speak. The soundtrack is not only used to set a tone for the scene but also distinguish the characters further. A great example is the scene with the skeleton king.
7:53–7:57 Colgrave uses a xylophone type instrument to represent ‘bone’ sounds made by the skeleton. It fits the supposedly scary figure in a humorous manner.
In the same scene at 8:05–8:09, the main character’s emotions raises from zero to boiling. The music perfectly encapsulates his chaotic feelings as it becomes a jumble of notes.
The concept of this film is its main strength in my opinion due to its openness for interpretation. Colgrave describes the project as “A film about love and regicide.” Our main character from the beginning makes it a goal to obtain any crown in his path. He does this from simply stealing to killing kings for their crowns. At one point, all the subjects of the previous rulers approach their newfound king’s residence. However, our main character makes no effort of wanting to rule them. Instead, one can interpret him just wanting to be perceived as powerful, with no real responsibilities. It is human nature to want to be perceived as dominant and respected. At the very base interpretation, it appears that is what this character aims for.
Some may point out a weakness of the film being a lack of tone. Colgrave’s style is known to have a confusing attitude ranging from humorous to serious and scary. It is the nature of his story telling and as a result his genre of animation may be categorized as alternative.
Viewers may also get off track from the story as Colgrave routinely shows things happening in the background with no necessary addition to the main story. However, he uses these instances to further explain the setting of the world and display the variation of character designs within.
The final strength comes from the film’s creative daring. We are left with no real ending. The double king’s want for crowns hasn’t halted and so the invested viewer is left wondering what will happen to the main character floating into nothingness.
Because Colgrave’s films are so daringly unpredictable, viewers expectations never cease.