Monday, September 29, 2014

The Missing Scarf

Well, well, well. Nearly seven months after I published my piece on the animated short film field, The Missing Scarf is finally available. Here's what I wrote at the time:
Apparently some venues didn't show the animated shorts in conjunction with the live action shorts as the Detroit Film Theater did. Instead, the animated shorts presentation was padded by three other films there were all supposed also-rans. One of which has apparently stuck out to people. I do hope I can find a copy of The Missing Scarf soon as I've heard it's the best of the bunch.
The Missing Scarf follows a formulaic rote that is common in children's books and fellow animated short contender Room on the Broom. From the beginning, though, it seems like it deals with more adult problems than a squirrel in search of a scarf might beget. Indeed, as the short develops, it feels like it would be more at home in Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival than your niece's Sunday school. Don't get me wrong, it isn't deranged or perverse in any sense, but it is a bit despairing.

The story isn't the interesting bit here, though. The animation is perfect for 2014 in maybe the same way that ReBoot was perfect for 1994. The character designs, settings, and effects were simple and bold in a really refreshing way for CGI. It was almost like watching a really enjoyable, crisp infographic, which still sounds way worse than it is. It's all hard edges, smooth curves, solid colors, and high contrast. The Missing Scarf is a real treat to watch.

All of that said, I absolutely understand why The Missing Scarf wasn't included. There were simply other shorts that were either more fun or more affecting. I wouldn't begrudge it nudging out a film, but neither can I begrudge those films nudging this out. Furthermore, it isn't a short that I think ranks above either Tsukumo or Get a Horse! (neither of which ended up winning), so the lack of inclusion for The Missing Scarf I really don't think had an impact on the award.

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