|Index||5 reviews in total|
In 1979, the United Nations and its program UNICEF started a fund-raising campaign that designated the year as, "The Year of the Child". That campaign is referenced by this short at the very beginning. The short went on to win the Academy Award and is an incredibly moving look at one child's journey. The title refers to the concept that every child is entitled to a name and a personal identity as an individual as well as humane treatment. I'm very glad to see that this is in-print and it is most highly recommended. Possibly the best thing the National Film Board of Canada has ever produced, at least to date.
Eugene Fedorenko's Oscar-winning "Every Child" got created with the
help of UNICEF, which had declared 1979 the Year of the Child. The
short focuses on a baby abandoned by successive families until one
adopts her. I don't know how many children there are in foster homes
today, but it almost certainly violates the Convention on the Rights of
the Child. To be certain, indigenous children are disproportionately
represented in Canada's foster care system (I assume that the same is
true in the US).
I recommend this short. Partly a look at children's rights, it also brings up another point. How do we reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies? Countless people rail against abortion but don't offer a solution to prevent unwanted pregnancies. If not abortion, then what?
Made for the UN International Year of the Child, I saw this short almost twenty years ago at a theatre in Frankfurt Germany. It was played before the main feature. I have longed to see it again because it was so funny. Fans of animation should catch this classic! Funny for all ages.
That this short won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short should be
conclusive proof that the Academy can prefer political or sociological
content over quality. The animation itself is OK, except for ugly
character designs and a style that varies inconsistently between
sophisticated and childish. The sound is interesting, as Les Mimes
Électriques provide all the sound effects in the cartoon using just
their voices, and masking anything that might be dialogue as incoherent
mumbling. Unfortunately, what passes for the story, however
well-intentioned it may be, is both preachy and banal, as a baby is
abandoned on a succession on doorsteps, with no one able to find room
in their lives to take her in, until she ends up at a dump where a
couple of homeless people decide to care for her. Apparently the makers
of this cartoon think that simply being in favor of children having
good homes is a strong enough social statement to build a cartoon
(And while it didn't affect my rating, the obvious subtext that the poor are more humane (or, indeed, more human) than the wealthy or the middle class is annoying, as both a stereotype and a cliché.)
Here in the 21st century, we are quite spoiled when it comes to cartoons. The lousy quality cartoons of the 60s and 70s are long gone and computer generated shorts and full-length films are the norm--and people have come to expect gorgeous quality animation. Well, back in 1979, things obviously were NOT of the high standards of either today or during the heyday of Hollywood's animation in the 40s and 50s--as EVERY CHILD looks amazingly poor for an Oscar winning animated short. Many art students today can make far superior products thanks to fantastic rendering software--and this one sure needed something! The story begins with two men and a baby sitting in a sound room. One of the men begins entertaining the kid and the scene suddenly becomes animated. The rest of the film frankly bored me--mostly because of the animation but probably even more because the sound effects were these two guys who just made noises like audience members chosen to appear on "Whose Line is it Anyway?". This was not a pleasant experience and I truly wonder if the 3 was perhaps a bit too generous!
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