This spinning zoetrope cake by French animator and director Alexandre Dubosc is beautiful, strange, a little creepy, and completely mesmerizing. Seriously, guys, I don’t know if I want to put this cake in my mouth or just stare at it in hypnotized fascination until the world folds in on itself. Is it possible to have your mind-bending, psychedelic super-cake AND eat it, too? I’m asking.
Dubosc’s video of the swirling chocolate confection, called “Melting Pop,” begins by zooming in on different layers of the cake to reveal animations. We see a burning chocolate fire (accompanied by the sound of crackling wood, of course), and popcorn kernels that seem to pop over the “heat.” Another layer has Pac-Man swallowing kernels, and, in one scene, popcorn seems to jump from one layer of the cake to another, only to be swallowed by a row of open mouths. The animations are surprisingly detailed, with little edible eyes tracking the movement of the popcorn. When the camera zooms out to show the whole cake, it’s almost too much to take in, a visual explosion of animation, popcorn, and chocolate.
The zoetrope is an animation device developed before the days of film, dating back to the 1830s. Dubosc includes another nod to early film and animation at the end of the video, when the camera pans upward to reveal a face on the top of the cake. This grumpy-looking character has a spoon stuck in its eye, a reference to the famous scene in the 1902 French film, Le Voyage Dans La Lune, in which a space capsule hits the Man in the Moon in the eye.
Watch the whole thing below, and check out Dubosc’s other hypnotic videos on his YouTube channel.