A poor young girl has a burning desire to find comfort and happiness in her life. Desperate to keep warm, the girl lights the matches she sells, and envisions a very different life for herself in the fiery flames.
Fresh, clever, imaginative, technically impressive, engaging and charmingly satisfying
A Rabbit and a Deer are in a relationship based on companionship, fun and play – they may not always like the same things, but they are a good pairing and live happily in their 2 dimensional world. One day Deer sees some sort of weird object in a broken television – an object of cubes that appears to have depth. This haunts him and he is driven to work out where this third dimension is. While his relationship with Rabbit fades, his frustration builds until one day when something happens.
This film opens with a very nicely flowing montage that tells us all about Rabbit and Deer in a very short time; it reminded me of the same thing done in the film Up, which is a good point of reference for this short. Pixar are generally known for producing inventive and technically impressive animation but never forgetting that a story and character is what makes such a film work; in the same way Nyuszi és Öz delivers a piece of animation that is clever and impressive, but ultimately has characters that we care for in a story which is emotional and dramatic but in a charming way.
To speak of the animation first. The 2D stop motion animation is very clean, smooth and pleasing; it moves very well without any jitters and it feels as fun and cheerful as the world of the opening. The 3D world is also very well done, looks great and the sense of wonder at it is tangible. However, what is most impressive is how these two worlds exist alongside one another and interact; it is visually clever, imaginative and very well delivered on the screen. All of this is made more impressive by how engaging and charming the story is – ultimately it is a warming tale of a relationship, which has adventure, drama and tension along the way. The manner of the telling did remind me of something that would fit perfectly as the short film supporting a Pixar feature – which when you think of the quality of some of those, you get an idea of how much I enjoyed Péter Vácz's film.
Referencing things like 2001 A Space Odyssey, and that episode of Simpsons where Homer goes 3D, this short stands on its won, with lots of clever and comedic touches which draw the viewer in even though the film is wholly without dialogue. Even if you don't know that this is a student film it is still really impressive, but all the moreso to see that it was from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design as a project. Fresh, clever, imaginative, engaging and charmingly satisfying – very much worth seeing.
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