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MOVIE REVIEW: Animal Cookies - A bite of delicious enchantment!

"Animal Cookies" come to life in little Molly's kitchen
"Animal Cookies" come to life in little Molly's kitchenTemple Pilgrim Films

There’s always been a special bond between dads and daughters and with the enchantingly charming ANIMAL COOKIES, that love between filmmaker Matthew Temple and his daughters, Iona, Mer and Jade, “comes to life” on screen thanks to their collaborative efforts off screen. Although only 90 seconds in length, ANIMAL COOKIES is long on talent, child-like wonder and movie magic.

In her very own cotton candy colored maquette-sized kitchen, Molly has baked her first batch of animal cookies - a giraffe, a lion and an elephant. So proud of her cookies, she wants to just stare at them on the baking tray, but Mom needs her (presumably to be helpful and set the dinner table), so Molly is forced to leave her kitchen and her ANIMAL COOKIES. On her return to the kitchen, Molly discovers that her ANIMAL COOKIES are gone!!! But where could cookies go?

When you’ve got a little girl, an imagination and some adventurous cookies, anything is possible!

For every grandmother and mother who has ever said the best baked things are filled with love, ANIMAL COOKIES is the proof in the pudding. An actor and filmmaker in his own right, writer/director Matthew Temple spent a week of vacation with his daughters creating ANIMAL COOKIES. A completely collaborative efforts, Temple and his daughters made set designs and dressing decisions together, and the girls created the marvelous “claymation” animals.

Using the same stop-motion techniques employed by the television producing team of Rankin-Bass in beloved shows like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Gumby”, the Christian based “Davey & Goliath” and now resurging in popularity on the big screen thanks to Laika in films like “Coraline” and “Paranorman”, the Temples meticulously executed the tedious nature of shooting individual frames of footage, with each frame necessitating minuscule movement of each “cookie”. The process is intensive and laborious and only the first step of production as once the footage was captured, Matthew and his daughters then had to edit, select and record music, and go through the post-production process to complete the short film.

The result is the CUTEST, SWEETEST and MOST ADORABLE LITTLE FILM that I have seen in ages. Filled with all the imagination of childhood and the fun of "Gumby & Pokey" claymation adventures, from the opening lilting music and cotton candy confection colored kitchen to the wild west closing music, ANIMAL COOKIES is enchanting.

So creative and so engaging, I would love to see this expanded to at least a full 30 minute short if not a full feature. There’s a lot of mischief and glee to be found not only in the jungle of a kitchen, but in the love of a dad and his daughters.

Written and Directed by Matthew Temple
Animation by Iona Cortez Temple, Mer Cortez Temple, Jade Cortez Temple

ANIMAL COOKIES is showing at Newport Beach Film Festival on April 25, 2014 at 11AM.