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Set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, this gothic horror mystery tells the story of Jasper Morello, a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his Plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself. The chance discovery of an abandoned dirigible leads Jasper through unchartered waters to an island on which lives a terrifying creature that may be the cure for the Plague. The journey back to civilization is filled with horrors but in a shocking climax, Jasper discovers that the greatest horror of all lies within man himself. Written by
In a Victorian world of steam driven air ships Jasper Morello is an aerial navigator haunted by a mistake he once made that caused the death of one of his crew. He leaves his home with his wife ill with the fatal plague sweeping the country and joins a mission with Doctor Belgon seeking a possible remedy for the disease but also redemption of his soul. The mission looks like it will be a success but with Belgon maddened with his discovery, Morello must decide if the terrible price is worth paying.
Nominated for an Oscar, this animated short is a great piece of work. The plot has elements of old Jules Verne adventures in the design but it is seeped in a wonderfully dark, Gothic air that runs from the animation through the music into the story and characters. Those not used to short films might moan at how the plot moves quickly and how it is quite superficial. These are fair comment but can be forgiven by the nature of this film, besides the film has much to cover minor issues. The story is engaging and well told with tragic characters complimenting the dark tone. Edgerton makes a great lead character and brings out a lot with his voice. Likewise Bakaitis is strong as the doctor while the support cast fill in the rest of the characters.
The animation makes this film though. Delivered mainly in 2 dimensional shadows, the design is impressive and captures the Gothic atmosphere just right. It is full of imagination and is beautifully dark to watch. Overall then a very strong and enjoyable short film. Gothic, dark and visually impressive with a solid narrative it is just a shame that the nomination did not get the film more exposure and a bigger audience.
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