Film Review: Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences

The following animated shorts are being screened as part of the Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences programme at the London Film Festival.

Sabaku

Sabaku is a three-minute film about a bird who is looking for a new friend. Directed by Marlies van der Wel, the film is a humorous take on the elusive search for friendship. The animation is warmly reminiscent of a children’s book, with its bold shapes but detailed strokes. The score gives Sabaku a levity in keeping with the tone of its narrative.

Hedgehog’s Home

Eva Cvijanović’s Hedgehog’s Home is about a hedgehog who believes his home is a castle. The ten-minute film begins and ends with a nod to the western genre; this also manifests with the appearance of antagonists. The animation is fantastic; Cvijanović shows great attention to detail. This is clear from the fur blowing in the wind to the detail of the backgrounds. The rhyming narration is also a highlight, and the voices are most apt. Hedgehog’s Home is an entertaining watch which shows Eva Cvijanović’s skills exceptionally well.

Catherine

Catherine is a sweet, amusing and macabre animated short. The twelve minute film is about a girl with a bad track record at keeping pets and her new Kitty. Directed by Britt Raes, Catherine transitions through a range of emotions in its brief duration. It is inventive in terms of narrative; once Catherine has Kitty, the film takes a surprising but amusing turn. The music is also great. Raes’ film captures the cat owner’s life, albeit in a rather macabre way.

Piglet’s Journey (Ruksiša Celojums)

Piglet’s Journey (Ruksiša Celojums) is a delightful animated short. Director Dace Riduze’s thirteen-minute film is about a physical and metaphorical journey. Protagonist Piglet ponders the essential question, wondering why people must work when they could sleep. The stop-motion animation is great; the use texture comes through incredibly well, and colours are strong. Piglet’s Journey is perhaps too vocal on the nobility of hard work, but its message about friendship is conveyed in a sweet and accessible format.

SabakuHedgehog’s Home, Catherine, and Piglet’s Journey are being shown as part of the Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences programme at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2017.

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