Pencil Town is a 14-minute animated short film by Last Act Studios director Joshua Walsh. It was released direct-to-DVD in 2008, and became a semi-finalist feature at the 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.


A town that is run and operated by various stationery beings and classroom objects finds itself at the mercy of a gang of chalk sticks. An overconfident pencil named Plus is the favorite officer of the Pencil Police Department, which seeks to put an end to the Chalky Chan Gang. Plus arrogantly sends himself alone into combat to confront the town's adversaries, and is quickly captured. His unassuming partner Minus must set things right before Plus meets his demise.

Visual style

VeggieTales similarities

Pencil Town was constructed and animated to similar production standards to those which were set by Big Idea for the first few episodes of VeggieTales. The eyes on characters, combined with the voice acting, appear to be almost directly modeled off of that series. Rather than definitive heads, characters' faces are positioned in the middle of their bodies, not unlike VeggieTales. This contrasts with the Stationery beings in Stationery Voyagers, which have "phantomitic fields" in the place of their arms and legs and have definitive heads and "barely-there" faces. One major difference is that Pencil Town characters have arms.

Pencil Town versus Stationery Voyagers

The different tactics for anthropomorphism in Pencil Town and Voyagers is due to the two programs' very different natures. In spite the stark contrasts given below, this has not stopped some fans from confusing the two works for one another. [1]

Studio Creator Development Tone Moral Complexity Creature Anatomy Franchise Structure

Stationery Voyagers

Dozerfleet Comics David Stiefel 2000-present Serial drama Complex moral debates, Black vs. White vs. Gray, etc. "Practical," "Functional," abstract, "logical" design Ongoing series

Pencil Town

Last Act Studios Joshua Walsh 2007-2008 Comedic Basic instruction, Pride comes before a fall, etc. "Cute" design, comparable to VeggieTales in design philosophy Standalone short film


Joshua Walsh's Pencil Town serves as an example of a budding new genre in animation: Stationery Anthropomorphism. Unlike brickfilming, which employs stop-motion animation with Legos and similar toys, Stationery Anthropomorphism employs the use of writing utensils as cast. This genre could be either stop-motion or computer-animated. Pencil Town helps defy skeptics who have long claimed the genre was intangible or even impossible. Before this film, one of the only well-known experiments in Stationery Anthropomorphism was a sketch on The Muppet Show [2].

See also


  1. Roguewarrior1978. "Hello, I am new" (topic). Reply #2. The Dozerfleet Forum. p. 1. Dozerfleet Productions. Monday, November 16th, 2009. 7:25 PM EST.
  2. "Theater of Things" (sketch). "Sex and Violence" (episode). The Muppet Show. Jim Henson Studios. March 19th, 1975. Season 1 Episode 1.

External links