The Menagerie was created in Toulouse in 2000 by artists and technicians passionate about animated filmmaking, with the aim of making films and of sharing the techniques used to produce them with as many people as possible.
The Menagerie promotes artistic creation as a social connector, a nucleus for cultural exchange and educational support. Renowned for its expertise in traditional animation, the collective develops artistic projects that prioritize original and socially engaged practices.
The Menagerie is currently installed in l’Usine, a National Street Arts and Public Space Center, not far from Toulouse, in Tournefeuille where the Collective develops its projects in several fields:
The Menagerie has a professional film studio where films using several animation techniques are shot, such as : stop-motion, rostrum camera animation, hand drawn animation…
Many movies shooted in our studio have won awards at their releases (La Traversée, nominated for César of best animated film in 2022, Un caillou dans la chaussure, 2021 Junior Jury Prize at the Annecy Festival, Boléro Paprika Jury Prize at the 2018 International Short Film Sequence Festival, etc.)
The Menagerie is now recognized by the CNC (Centre national du cinéma) as a traditional animation « residential art center”. We are available for hosting and accompanying young artist-directors during the early development of their projects, at the critical transition from drawing to fabrication.
The Menagerie’s artists and technicians engage children, teens, and adults via workshops aimed at the discovery and creation of animated films: offering tools for artistic expression on a playful base and accessible to all. The Menagerie aspires to create collective spaces for creation and reflection, in hopes of provoking cultural awakening, critical analysis, and “working-together”, through image-based education.
Since the Menagerie’s inception, more than a hundred films have been created by a wide range of audiences (from educational institutions, recreational facilities, cultural centers, and retirement homes, to prisons and rehabilitation centers, as well as in low-income neighborhoods and zones …)
The Menagerie develops its own digital tools, notably Kool Capture: a free, downloadable, open-source software. This software makes it possible to create a stop-motion movie with your computer and your webcam.
The Menagerie offers introductory stop-motion workshops for social and cultural professionals, educators, and anyone looking to explore stop-motion techniques for personal, entertainment or educational reasons.
Within the framework of the European Union’s programme: Erasmus+, the Menagerie offers training aimed at bringing together partners working in the fields of animation and arts education, as well as the creation of an international network for future projects.
PERFORMANCES AND EXHIBITIONS
In the interest of reaching the widest possible audience, the Menagerie has developed a practice of shooting animated films in public spaces since its foundation. The aim was above all to go out of the studio and invite the spectators to discover the shooting frame by frame techniques.
The association has since developed several shows : Rock’n Schmutz, Le Flipper, L’Écran Magique a family-friendly show, L’Homme est un animal mobile which was presented in the « IN » at the Aurillac International Street Theater Festival in 2015).
The Menagerie also contributed to various performing arts companies’ projects (Cie La Machine, Le Bousrophédon, le PHUN, KompleXKapharnaüm, …) providing their expertise in image animation.
The Menagerie has organized several exhibitions based on graphic, plastic and thematic research around films made in our studios (Toile de front, Dans les coulisses de la grande dévoreuse and Boléro Paprika).
Les Machines Optiques exhibition brings together giant phenakistoscopes and praxinoscopes to be manipulated, allowing spectators to discover the concept of cyclic animation, the cinema’s precursor.