Film Review: Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences

The following films are being screened as part of the Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences programme at this year’s London Film Festival.

The Pig On The Hill

Jamy Wheless and John Helms’ The Pig On The Hill is about a pig who is not happy about his new neighbour. The animation is lush, and the story is endearing. The narration by Pierce Brosnan is a perfect match for the on-screen visuals.

Colour Birds (Coucouleurs)

Oana Lacroix’s Colour Birds (Coucouleurs) is about a two-coloured bird living in a forest of one-coloured birds. Lacroix tells the story without dialogue, relying instead on her striking visuals. A film about finding one’s place, Colour Birds is enhanced by its sound design.

Funny Fish

Krishna Chandran A Nair’s Funny Fish is about a group of fish who attempt to rescue what they believe to be a fish from the surface of the water. With their enormous eyes, the fish are cute in appearance. There are some nice shots in Funny Fish, depicted how small the group are compared with the vastness of the ocean.

I Want To Live In The Zoo

Evgenia Golubeva and Myles McLeod’s I Want To Live In The Zoo is about a young girl who would rather live at the zoo than do her homework. The animation style mirrors the film’s protagonist, with bold shapes and bright colours. The filmmakers tell the story succinctly; the simplicity suits the six-minute run time.

A Walk In The Woods (Promenons-nous)

Hugo Frassetto’s A Walk In The Woods (Promenons-nous) is a animated short musical about a wolf playing a game with his cubs. The animation mixes broad characters with detailed backgrounds, in a way which complements. Half way through the style changes with the wolf’s song, giving way to a simpler, sketched style of animation. With A Walk In The Woods, Frassetto demonstrates his range.

Vivat Musketeers

Anton Dyakov’s Vivat Musketeers is about a hero who attempts to rescue a princess. The film features a good deal of slapstick humour, including a great climax. Movement in the film is great, and the soundtrack really sets the tone. There is an amusing mixture of the old and new, which gives Vivat Musketeers a distinct feel.

Penguin

At just over three minutes long, Julia Ocker’s Penguin is the shortest film in the programme. Nevertheless, the film packs in enough slapstick humour into its duration. The animation is bold rather than detailed, but this suits the style of Penguin. Dialogue is not necessary here.

A Bit Lost (Un Peu Perdu)

Hélène Ducrocq’s A Bit Lost is based on the children’s book of the same name by Chris Haughton. The illustration has a very similar style to that of the book. At five minutes long, the film is the perfect length for the simple story. It is very cute, with a tiny post-credits shot adding to this.

Ernest and Celestine – The Blizzard

The bear and mouse duo return in Jean-Christophe Roger and Julien Chheng’s Ernest and Celestine – The Blizzard. The film, featuring Gabrielle Vincent’s characters, will be adored by fans of the 2012 feature film. The animation is beautiful, with the watercolour-like backgrounds giving the film a traditional feel. The story is very cute, particularly the ending.

The Pig On The Hill, Colour Birds, Funny Fish, I Want To Live In The Zoo, A Walk In The Woods, Vivat Musketeers, Penguin, A Bit Lost, and Ernest and Celestine – The Blizzard are being screened in the Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences programme at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2018.

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