A black comedy exploring some of life's common fears: fear of the unknown, of failure, rejection and finally the fear of death. Narrated by George Takei.

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Albert the squirrel makes a startling discovery... an empty space where once his favourite scarf lay. He heads off into the forest only to find everyone else is preoccupied with worries of their own. He helps who he can before moving on but never seems to get any closer to his goal. Ultimately, Albert's problem is put in perspective by the friends he helped and problems they faced and overcame together.

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19 October 2013 (USA)  »

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Edited into The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2014: Animation (2014) See more »

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Very crisp animation with good narration and strong control of what it is doing at any moment
6 March 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

One day Albert the squirrel wakes up only to find that there is an empty space where his favorite scarf should be. He heads out into the woods to try to find it, only to encounter other animals with problems which he can help to address.

I have read a few children's books in my time, and this short film is very nicely structured to be like this – a simple journey of one cute animal, who meets other cute animals with problems or with which to have some form of interaction. The film sets this out very well, with deceptively simple animation of an origami squirrel, and animals made up of colored shapes. The narration of this children's story is delivered in a warmly singsong manner by George Takei and it is quite engaging to see the clever way that the animated problems and their solutions are delivered.

What makes the film standout is where it goes from these small problems which are solved by pat advice. Once we get to the bear, the worry is something massive which sees the short expand visually and in terms of Takei's narration, to be something much bigger than the other problems, and we slip through dying suns, destroyed matter, and nothingness everywhere. Likewise the squirrel's usual pat solution is in the same style, making it an engagingly fluid and impressive sequence. The punch line at the end is also good, and a satisfyingly adult reality to the childish solutions of the squirrel.

Duffy delivers well with the idea and script, but visually and thematically the film is also a treat, nicely setting out to be one thing then being another; it is cleanly made, clear in its goal, and very effective in the delivery. Well worth seeing.


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