On a dark night, as the clock strikes eight, a mother sends her child upstairs to bed with only a candle for light. The child is wary, then frightened. The child hears something climbing ... See full summary »
Bits of found film and different types of animation illustrate a classic chase scene scenario: A woman is abducted and a man comes to her rescue, but during their escape they find themselves in the enemy's secret headquarters.
An animated film about the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who spearheaded numerous engineering marvels of the early 19th century - including the Thames Tunnel, the Great Western ... See full summary »
On a dark night, as the clock strikes eight, a mother sends her child upstairs to bed with only a candle for light. The child is wary, then frightened. The child hears something climbing the stairs. We see a birdlike man, his head like a crescent moon, stealthily then noisily approach the child's room. Mother appears to kiss the child good night. Has the sandman been a figment of the child's imagination? Then, he appears in the child's room and, as the child sleeps, leans over and takes something, leaps to the window, throws open the sash, and flies to a nest where two hungry fledglings cry. What has the sandman brought them? Written by
The source material comes from the short horror story "Der Sandmann", written by E. T. A. Hoffmann (best known for writing the novella "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", on which the famous Tchaikovsky ballet is based.) In it the protagonist has an aside conversation with an old woman, who relates details about the "real" Sandman's nature and habits that diverge sharply (and ghoulishly) from the character as he is traditionally depicted in European folklore. Her description of the Sandman appears as the antagonist in this animated short. See more »
Probably the second best animated short of the year
If it hadn't been for MONA LISA DESCENDING THE STAIRS, there's a very strong chance that THE SANDMAN would have won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film--it was that striking and groundbreaking. Paul Berry created a stop motion world very similar to his later projects such as THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE Christmas and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. While the animation is not quite as fluid here in this early film, you can clearly see that it led to these very successful Disney films. Sadly, Barry died at age 40 and his output was quite limited.
So what did I like about this film? Well, the character designs were amazing and the sets had a strange and twisted quality that was both charming and creepy. As for the story, I am probably in the minority here, it was really good up until the surprise ending. I thought it was too creepy and disturbing and knocked the film from a 9 to an 8--this is certainly NOT a film to show to young and impressionable kids. Of course, for an older crowd, they'll probably love the sick finale. Watch it and see for yourself.
This is an exceptional and brilliant film.
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