The showcase of international animated shorts at the Florida Film Festival included thirteen films from numerous countries and utilizing a number of different animation techniques. None of the films are of poor quality; it's obvious the painstaking effort that went into making them. Some succeed and some don't (and several spectacularly fail, in this critic's opinion.) Here are the highlights (and lowlights) of the international animated shorts:
My favorite of the collection was the final short, Subconscious Password, which used some creative live action mixed with stop motion animation to show what happens when a man can't remember an old friend's name. His subconscious turns into a game show hosted by his superego. Hilarious. Noodle Fish from Korea is the story of a fish trying to discover what the world above the surface of the water is like, and is animated with Korean noodles. Very entertaining and innovative.
I can't say I really enjoyed many of the other films, though I appreciate the craft involved. What is Dead May Never Die and Tap to Retry go well together; the former splices random images of early 80's computer animation and experimental film set to a synth soundtrack, while the latter is a stop motion exploration of our modern addiction to technology using paper constructs. Both are visually very interesting, if a little ambiguous of meaning. I also appreciated White Morning, a British film that examines the violence of little boys that continue into adulthood; it was one of the more experimental in nature and works, though it is a bit long and heavy handed.
Most of the other shorts were fairly middling. Oh Sheep! would have been a cute little film except for the unnecessary gore the filmmakers felt they needed to include. Bloody violence doesn't bother me when it serves the story and it certainly didn't here. This leads into La Ravaudeuse standing out as one I greatly disliked also. It's the story of a peasant woman and her children, two formerly conjoined twins. It's technically well made, but it was needlessly graphic; I can go the rest of my life without seeing felt puppets having graphic intercourse. And that's the first and last time I intend to ever type that phrase.
Most of these films can be found online. For my other reviews from the Florida Film Festival click here.