Shorts for Shorties: Tell Us a Story!
Fortunately for this Shorts for Shorties program, The Gruffalo is included as the main selling feature, based on Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's popular children's novel of the same name. While not directed with a great deal of creativity – literally retelling the parable of a crafty mouse full of white lies without any embellishment – children will at least appreciate the straightforward whimsy of this animated tall tale.
The rest of this program, on the other hand, won't appeal to most children, skewing either inappropriate or bizarre, leaving even discerning adults raising an eyebrow in bewilderment.
9 Things I Saw Last Wednesday briefly flies over random quotidian observations, while Marvin tells the story of a young boy born with a hole in his head. Rather than dote on the plight of being different, this latter short expands upon the importance of going flat-out crazy every once in a while, which is a wonderful message to send out.
Jillian Dillon uses stop-motion paper cut-outs to animate a maladroit folk song about a hippo/platypus girl that preaches, "loving who you are." And as perplexing as this woefully misguided short is, it's at least more engaging than Orange City, which has that creepy, patronizing narration where an adult attempts to do a baby voice. I actually felt a little dirty after enduring this one.
Going the route of international appeal by having no actual dialogue to limit its audience, Lokomoschine tells a slow and unremarkable story of two scientists that invent a special machine that brings books to life. It's about on par with the decently animated DreamGiver, wherein a child is given, you know, dreams.
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