Smoke and Suds

In a world of illegal soap smuggling carried out by the Rubber Duck Mafia, an innocent duck bumps into a smuggling operation and a crate of soap crashes into the layperson. This duck witnessed too much and must be chased down by the smugglers.

  • Shine Xing
  • Ethan Toavs
    Music Composer
  • Oscar Sobrado
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Historical, Noir, comedy
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 29, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Rochester institute of Technology
Director Biography - Shine Xing

Shine Xing is an animator and illustrator based in Virginia. She has a strong interest in worldbuilding, and is especially passionate about creating unique and emotional atmospheres through her paintings, while also creating a space for characters that feels lived in. She recently graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology for 2d animation. Her other interests include ducks, 4:3, and sewing.

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Director Statement

I find the idea of a tiny rubber duck holding a gun to be very assuming, thus I wanted to create a film where a rubber duck shoots someone dead. I thought making a world where a rubber duck is the head of a criminal organization and the story is a chase scene that ends with the duck shooting someone dead was the perfect way to express this concept.

Initially I wanted the world to be inspired by Prohibition era New York City. Instead of alcohol being illegal I wanted it to be soap, to tie back into the rubber duck theme, and the people to be duck people. Then I wanted to do something closer to my Chinese heritage so I changed the inspiration to the opium smoking culture of 19th century China, specifically the city of Canton (now Guangzhou).

I also was heavily influenced by noir films, specifically the chase sequence in "The Third Man", and also older cel animation, specifically the opening from "Batman: The Animated Series" and an old Chinese cartoon called "Black Cat Detective" (黑猫警长). Thus I tried to replicate the look and feel of these older forms of cinema digitally.

Ultimately I hope audiences can immerse themselves in this duck world I created that's inspired by 19th century Canton where a rubber duck commits horrific acts of violence.