Father (2012) Poster

(III) (2012)

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It is a better idea and a better collaborative project than it is an actual short film
bob the moo14 February 2015
This animation is comprised of 5 different works, all delivered together as one project so that, although they have different animation styles, they do look roughly similar in terms of color, and share the same central character in terms of the figure of their respective fathers. What we get is narration over animation which takes on the form of a sort of discussion between the 5 characters and their respective fathers – who is voiced by the same actor whether he takes the form of a stern grey Eastern European man, or of a blue wolf with aspects of his body that move between animal and human to suit the scene.

As an idea, it is a very interesting one, and there are aspects of it that work very well, but unfortunately for me I do not think that the film worked as a whole, or that the decision to make it a collaborative project worked either. In terms of content the snippets of dialogue from each person do reveal bits of their lives which are telling and perhaps will strike true for the vast majority of viewers since they do reflect a certain reality and both the views of child and parent are equally understandable and valid. The downside is that they are so universal that they do start to feel a bit general when viewed at a high level and not in the detail of the story – which is generally the level the film is operating at, or at least it is as it starts to get to more general feelings behind/above the specifics.

I'm also not sure the animation styles combining works. In terms of color, movement and tone, they mix okay, but the styles will depend on individual taste, so the more hand-drawn style I liked (with the wolf father) but with the father painting the ship, and the style with rendered faces (like N64's Goldeneye) I didn't like so much. In the end the short feels like it would have been better as an individual project, with greater focus and fewer sweeping sentiments by the end. I think the specific and personal detail of each was okay, and the idea was good, but the delivery is too fragmented, too general, and a bit pat.
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