Autodale: A dystopian animated short series

On YouTube, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of inspired animators who publish their work on the platform every day filled with the hope that they can possibly gain a substantial following. One of those inspired animators is 20-year-old British college student, David Armsby.
“I’ve created a lot of artwork from animated short films, from sculptures to paintings,” Armsby said. “I also love films, video games, comic books and keeping fit. All of which provide a lot of artistic inspiration.”
One of his most beloved series is Autodale, which is a dystopian/apocalyptic animated short film series. Five videos have been made so far in the following order, “Being Pretty (2017),” “No Monsters (2017),” “Children’s Toys (2018),” “Don’t Feed the Freaks (2018)” and “Model Citizen (2020).” All of these short films are designed from scratch by Armsby himself.
Autodale explores the aftermath of a world thrown into crisis. The city itself is more of a large suburban-like community surrounded by an extensive security system, outfitted with barbed wire fences, guard towers and a grand central command tower at the center of it all. Autodale is ruled by robots known as the “Handyman.”
Children in Autodale are taught from a young age what to do, what to believe in, how to perceive others and most importantly, how to be pretty. The primary goal of the Autodale citizens is to procreate and raise a “pretty” replacement child for themselves before they turn “ugly.”
There are not many prerequisites for becoming “ugly.” Once one is considered “ugly”, the reason for such an identification gets plastered on their given masks. Therefore instead of the word “pretty”, the following is put on: “disfigured”, “deaf”, “fat”, “depressing”, “crippled”, “old”, “divorced”, “sterile”, “unemployed”, “sick”, “blind”, “gay” and more. These individuals are swiftly exterminated and thrown into mass burial sites.
One can delve into the greater message that Autodale tries to send. The series should not be taken literally: instead of seeing robots and loyal citizens, one can see totalitarian role models and their loyal followers.
The key thing that sets the Autodale dystopian series apart from others is the focus on citizens’ lack of individualism as most citizens pride themselves on their own lack of individuality. They believe that the system works best when everyone follows the requirements of their pre ordained roles.
Citizens are also required to wear their identical masks at all times, even within their own households. As mentioned previously, these masks have the words “pretty” plastered on top for those who meet the standards, a startling reminder to everyone of how individualism is a key and necessary component of a free society.
Beyond these concepts, the series delves into the different perspectives of people living in this dystopian world, either as a child, a loving parent, an aimless wanderer or one of the hunted.
All in all, Autodale is a great series, and it is just beginning to bloom.
“As for Autodale; I’m not 100% sure where it’s going yet,” Armsby said. “I’ll certainly make more, but as for an ‘end’ to the series, I haven’t really considered it yet. There’s too much stuff I want to explore before ending it.”
Armsby is right; when it comes to the story line, there is much to explore. Every video so far continues to keep the viewer captivated by the revelations that this apocalyptic society holds. For example, the citizens of Autodale have been totally and utterly gripped by propaganda; the only ones who suspect the “Handyman,” the authorative government robots, are the children, yet they eventually grow up to be just like their parents. The animation itself is stunning, and it is no wonder why when one takes a deeper look.
“The Autodale series uses cell-shaded 3D character models I create and animate in Blender, that live in 2D environments that I draw in Photoshop,” Armsby said. “The best way I can describe it is like the early Resident Evil games, where the characters and zombies and such are 3D, animated models, and the backdrops are pre-rendered still backdrops.”
This series, and the episodes to follow, undoubtedly deserves all the respect and pride derived from this five-star rating.