On a slow Sunday evening, you just have to see this emotional and nostalgic short animation about the bond between a father and his daughter. Father and Daughter is a Dutch animation made in 2000 by Michaël Dudok de Wit, and the same year it won the Oscar for Animated Short Film. The drawings are minimal and seem made in charcoal and watercolor. The story is beautiful and sad. And the soundtrack is probably one of the most well known Romanian tunes, a waltz called Waves of the Danube, composed by Ion Ivanovici in 1880.
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This 1984 animation was made after a Russian folk tale. I really love the drawings and the voices the animals have, a bit too dramatic and theatrical, and too human to belong to animals. These deep grave voices and a certain bitter-sweetness are a characteristic of most old-school Soviet animations. These animations are largely unexplored in film theory and history, especially outside Russia. And many of them are great and tell stories about friendship and values. Take a look at Hedgehog in the Fog as well, it is probably one of the best Soviet animations ever.
This surreal animation is my newest discovery. A friend sent it to me tonight and so I plunged in Tortov Roddle’s world, a curious place with surprising encounters. Tortov Roddle travels on his long-legged pig, there’s peaceful music in the background and no voice over to disrupt this dreamy adventure.
If the jeans you are wearing are made in China, then they might have been made by Jasmine Li (she’s the one with the blue sweater in the photo above). China Blue tells the story of this 17 year old girl who lives and works in the Lifeng Clothes Factory in Shaxi, Guangdong. She shares her room with others like her, young migrant workers – some of them with fake ID’s making it seem they are older – who leave the safety of their villages and families to earn some money. Jasmine makes 7 cents per hour.
This beautiful hand-drawn-like animation with a strangely french name (considering it is actually japanese and its original title is Tsumiki no ie) tells the story of an old man. His house sinks in water and he adds cubes to the house, cubes on cubes on cubes, so he can stay dry. But at a point he drops his pipe and to get in back, he has to metaphorically dive all the way to the bottom of the house. And this search between “past cubes” brings back memories of his life and love. This short film was made by Kunio Kato and won an Oscar in 2008 for a good reason: it is a touching, bitter-sweet story with well chosen music and a dreamy message.
‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them…’
‘and then…there are others…’
…like Harvie Krumpet.
He was born upside down in a village in Poland in 1922. He has Tourette’s Syndrome and he is the unluckiest person in the world. This short clay-animation is his biography. Directed by Adam Elliot (Max and Mary), this 23 minutes film won an Oscar and 19 other prizes. Read more…