London's most athletic vermin run the torch in this charming animation.

Now here's an Olympic event I would actually watch: The sprightly vermin of London racing to get a torch to the finish line.

Except in this case, the "torch" is a lit cigarette or a dry twig. And the celebration at the "finish line" might get a person jailed in most countries. It makes you question the vermin's motive having the torch relay in the first place is it for the love of sport, or a psychopathic mission to destroy a London city block?

This grimy-cute production, a mix of real footage and cartoons, was co-directed by European animators Amael Isnard and Leo Bridle for London's deliciously named Beakus animation studio. Allow Beakus to explain the meaning of this animalistic cinema:

The short beautifully shows us what's going on down the backstreets of London during the build up to the Games, where vermin are also inspired to take part. Shot around London, sometimes from the top of a 5-metre pole, and featuring an array of messed-up animated vermin, the film pokes fun at the Olympics and it's so-called 'inclusivity' dogma.

I'm still trying to figure out, however, just what type of vermin that is motoring around in the trash-dotted canal. A giant carp? A snakehead (does London even have snakeheads)? Whatever: It would probably taste just as good as rat on the plate.

About the Author

John Metcalfe
John Metcalfe

John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.

Most Popular

  1. Design

    The Military Declares War on Sprawl

    The Pentagon thinks better designed, more walkable bases can help curb obesity and improve troops’ fitness.

  2. Modest two-bedroom apartments are unaffordable to full-time minimum wage workers in every U.S. county.
    Maps

    Rent Is Affordable to Low-Wage Workers in Exactly 12 U.S. Counties

    America’s mismatch between wages and rental prices is more perverse than ever.

  3. Equity

    What CityLab Looks Like Now

    Bigger images, fewer ads—and a recommitment to telling a very important story.

  4. Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul.
    Equity

    Terrorism and the De-Gentrification of Istanbul

    A devastating string of attacks and woeful city planning have driven away locals and tourists alike, prompting a swift process of decline.

  5. The price of bananas is displayed on a digital price tag at a 365 by Whole Foods Market grocery store.
    How To

    The Past and Future of Urban Grocery Shopping

    In his new book, Michael Ruhlman charts the overlap of food, commerce, and identity.