©︎ Tomoki Misato JGH, Shin-ei Animation / MOLCARS

25th Animation Division Social Impact Award


Animated TV series

MISATO Tomoki[Japan]


A TV series of 2:40-minute animated shorts filmed in stop-motion. It takes place in a world made of wool felt where “Molcars,” guinea pig cars, live together with humans. Although it is a stop-motion animation, the camera moves freely in all directions, and intense action scenes with car chases, crashes, and explosions are depicted with a rich sense of realism. The Molcars are voiced by actual guinea pigs, and live-action humans appear in pixilation. The story unfolds in the bizarre situation of humans riding guinea pigs (Molcars), but verbal explanations such as narration and subtitles are removed from the work as much as possible, leaving the viewer to use their imagination and enjoy the film beyond language. The uproar caused by the Molcars is not only adorable but is also intended to send a message with a social satire.

Reason for Award

The first thing that attracts the viewer’s attention is the visual appeal of the adorable character design, which combines a guinea pig and a car, the soft wool felt that forms the guinea pig, and the tiny human figures that look just like dolls. The film combines a variety of visual techniques, centering on time-lapse photography, and mixes a wide range of movements, from big flashy actions to small and humorous movements, which adds depth to the work. The film’s free and bold direction, including the use of live-action humans and animals in the puppet world (changing the way humans are represented in different scenes), was also highly rated. The absence of dialogue is another strong feature of this work, and by eliminating words, it became a piece that people of all ages and from all countries can enjoy. The fact that this short TV program for children, the filmmaker’s first commercial animated film, reached a large audience through word of mouth and online distribution has had a great impact on society and the film and video production industry. (OYAMA Kei)