Review by Liam McGarry
A heart transplant, a fair lady and a cantankerous, scheming family comprise this witty and whimsical short by Crabapple, Boekbinder and Batt. Since brevity is the soul of wit, this four-minute short should be a clever and entertaining little tale, and indeed it succeeds in this with its wry charm and infectious enthusiasm.
The film is told with beautifully detailed paper doll puppets, shot with stop motion against detailed paper houses and cobbled streets. Set in a fanciful Victorian port, the attention to detail is marvellous, and so too is the creativity and flair with which the characters move and interact. The story is sprightly yet light, a young girl locked in her aristocratic and restrictive trappings, finds a shot at liberty and adventure after an operation gone awry. This lightness of plot can make the film feel somewhat vague and twee at times due mainly to the under explained events and shortness of the video. However, I think that it could not have been longer without sacrificing the energy and flow of the film, and so certain vagueness is to be expected.
With no dialogue in the film, the story is narrated through an original song by Kim Boekbinder which spans the video’s four minute length. This can give the impression that the film is a merely a music video for the song, but due to the collaborative nature of the production, the song serves as a narrative and not the most important feature. As a soundtrack, it is a sweet and lively maritime ditty, and is an integral and catchy part of the story.
The film’s success has been made possible thanks to donations made via Kickstarter, which has allowed the creators freedom of time and autonomy. This flexibility clearly paid off, seen in the meticulous detail of the models and set design, and seamlessness of the scenes and transitions.
An imaginative and clever little alternative animation made with precision and care. The creators mix beautiful, intricate models with seamless stop motion effects and a playful, memorable score to create a charming and engaging story of love and freedom.