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I remember seeing this on television at around Christmastime about eight years ago and I was highly engaged with it. I found this on Vimeo today and whilst watching it was as good as I remembered and there were a few things I noticed differently from the first time around such as the production company TVC being spelt out in magnetic letters on the fridge and some subtle adult jokes in spite of two reviewers saying this was mostly aimed at children.
The animation style, while flickery and repetitive in parts yet smooth with some great uses of squash and stretch and follow-through and overlapping action, captures the look of Posy Simmonds' book illustrations perfectly (despite not having read the original 'Fred' book but I do own 'Lulu and the Chocolate Wedding') while the music has a great variety to it from gospel to rock and roll. The dialogue is often gentle yet witty and somewhat tongue in cheek, thus giving this short a pleasing appeal to both children and adults alike while the voice acting is superb, particularly from Jessica Lynam and David John Barker as the children Sophie and Nick respectively, Joanna Quinn as their mother, Lenny Henry as Fred and Tom Courtenay as Kenneth the guinea pig.
All in all this is a hugely entertaining short film, albeit its repeated animation in places, that should also appeal to fans of 'The Snowman' films. 9/10.
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