6.6/10
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The Girl and the Horse (2003)

A small girl is crying because there is a hole in her stomach, suddenly a mysterious horse appears and things begin to change...

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A small girl is crying because there is a hole in her stomach, suddenly a mysterious horse appears and things begin to change... Written by Rebecca Manley

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Animation | Short

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Where do the simple pleasures go?
30 November 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A young girl is slightly sad, with a hole in her life which needs filling. She befriends a horse and the gap is filled, however she soon grows and distractions like money, clothes, possessions and such replace the horse and appear to fill the gap. But is she really happy?

I didn't really like the look of this short at the start but it grew on me. Likewise I thought the point it was making was rather naive and obvious, but again, it did it in a very good way and it all worked really well. The plot basically says `why don't things make you happy now - why were you happy with less as a child?' An easy point, but one well made with style even if it's conclusions are obvious. It may be that I'm a little unhappy at the moment and I, like the girl, have a gap, but this film did hit me right on and I appreciated it for that.

The animation put me off at first - I have been spoilt rotten by Finding Nemo and it's ilk! However the charcoal (?) style animation is very effective and quite beautiful in their personal touches - stuff a computer just can't do in my opinion. I didn't think that the `real' stuff (money, house, cake) fitted into this animation but they were OK.

Overall this is yet another good entry in the AIR series (Animator in Residence) and is simply but very effective and enjoyable. Director Manley has done acting in the past, mostly TV work and this is a nice departure from that.


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