Ruin establishes the foundations of an overgrown urban environment, but resembles a mere tech demo. Look closely. Does the post-apocalyptic vibe ring any bells? The stylish art style? If only the cover art had some humans running within a maze...! That's right, before Wes Ball tackled the YA franchise that would be 'The Maze Runner', he created this miniature short of a mysterious man of unknown origins fleeing a helicopter in hot pursuit. The regrowth of the urban landscape, also known as secondary succession to you environmentalists (thank you A level studies), may be reminiscent of 'I Am Legend' but instantly engages with its sheer beautiful animation. The entire world and its content were all fully rendered, with Ball apparently "just playing around" with animation techniques. The high-octane motion blur, positional camerawork and layered depth of far off buildings is a prime example of majestic world building. It's as if it was extracted from a video game.
And that's where my problem lies. It basically has the exoskeleton of a cutscene, with minimal visual storytelling and occasional polygonal jaggedness, particularly with the human. Despite the entire eight minute runtime being a futuristic motorcycle chase that looked like it came straight from a 'Final Fantasy' game, there's not really much else to it unfortunately. Just a mild showcase of visual splendour. The score, reminiscent of John Williams, didn't suit the harsh environment and irked me with its unnatural involvement. Cutting the helicopter explosion, whilst almost certainly difficult to render, resulted in an anti-climactic conclusion that could've presented excellence in animation. Alas, this short film infers itself as a tech demo. However it does give the viewer a flavour of what Ball is capable of, and clearly is a seed for 'The Maze Runner' franchise.