Under the Skin, the Bark is an animated short film that tells the story of a fictional character trying to understand his role. Plunged into the heart of a forest full of bogus, masked entities where he seems to be the object of mockery, he decides to go meet his creator, a reclusive artist holed up in his studio.

If the film deals with the doubts that can be generated by artistic creation, it questions above all the relevance of the role we are given and that we give ourselves.

Abandoned by his creator who has disappeared, the main character realises that he is the product of an artistic hesitation that didn’t satisfy anyone. The unloved creation of a faltering imagination, the so-say « dumb » hunter turns out to be less foolish than he seems.

Taking advantage of the lockdown imposed in May 2020, I undertook the making of Under the Skin, the Bark as a solitary artistic exercise. Inspired by the musical universe of Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones, two of whose works I integrated into the project, I created the film entirely alone in about ten months. In total autonomy, and free of any prior external validation, I turned my usual working method upside down to write a film directly on the screen. With neither script nor storyboard to guide me, I gave myself a rare luxury, the right to make mistakes and to go backwards, redoing the backgrounds several times, constantly modifying the puppet of the creator while, as the film was being made, this character was fading away in favor of his creation. The hunter became the central character of the story while the figure of the artist in need of inspiration became frozen in his empty bark. This character in search of identity, whom I followed frame after frame, ended up forcing my hand to give him back control of his own destiny.

The making of this film was a powerful experience, a letting go of the usual contingencies of production. It was also a way for me to transcend the lockdown and turn it into a fruitful and happy adventure.

Franck Dion


Technical sheet

2D & 3D animation, Animation of objects – France / 2021 – 08 mn 30 s – 2:35 / Stereo / Visa n° 154.758


Written, designed, animated & directed by Franck Dion – Music by Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones – Voices : Chloé Delaume, Didier Brunner

UNDER THE SKIN, THE BARK is distributed by Dark Prince.


  • FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM D’ANIMATION D’ANNECY  / 14 au 19 juin 2021 – Sélection officielle court métrage
  • ANIMAFEST ZAGREB / 7 to 12 June 2021 – Grand competition short film
  • LA SHORTS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / 1 to 31 july 2021 competition short film
  • ANIMAPHIX / 27 july to 1 aug 2021 international competition short film
  • FLICKERS’ RHODHE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / aug 9-15 2021 – competition short film
  • BRISTOL ENCOUNTERS / sept 1-30 2021 – competition
  • ANIMEST ROMANIA / oct 8-17 2021 – competition
  • SITGES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL / oct 7-17 2021 – competition
  • SCAD SAVANNAH FILM FESTIVAL / oct 23-30 2021 – competition
  • ANIMATION FEST T.R.K LOS ANGELES / oct 28 2021 – selection
  • SPARK ANIMATION / oct 28 – nov 7 2021 – competition
  • CINANIMA / nov 8 – 14 2021 – competition
  • LIAF London International Animation Festival / nov 26 – dec 5 2021 – competition
  • FESTIVAL TOUS COURTS AIX EN PROVENCE / nov 30 – dec 4 2021 – competition


  • CANAL+ France
  • CANAL+ cinéma