This is PBJ, and I have things to say about NZIFF “Animation for Kids”!
PBJ’s Rating: 7.5/10 ♥’s
This year’s lineup of animated films ‘for kids’ offers up an admirable range of traditional animation, live action hybrid, and CGI shorts. Two particularly special shorts rounded out the series, Mario Adamson’s claymation I Am Round and Corinne Ladeinde’s 2-D portait, Ernesto [see part two of this review].
I Am Round was definitely my top pick of the lot. The short is about Mathilda, a round pheebo* born to quadratic [square] parents. Literally.
*Pheebo is something I made up.
Mathilda lives in a quadratic world, finding out from an early age the need to hide her true form by wearing a square compression suit in public. One day she’s caught without her suit, but by another circle in hiding, Alex. This fellow pheebo offers his friendship, bringing them to visit the lovingly circular moon. Again, literally.
One especially telling scene shows nurses in the newborn nursery trying to force several round pheebos into square boxes to change their anatomy.
The message is pretty clear: accept people for who they are. Spidey senses tell me that the shape metaphor is an allusion to sexual orientation. These pheebos are born round, not by choice, and having to hide that in plain sight causes them pain. Tolerance = spot on message for the next generation, bravo!
The only criticism I have for this film: I wish the pheebos had been androgynous, tying the message in to more forward debates surrounding gender fluidity. This would’ve directed the ending on an even more progressive path, instead of reinforcing a heternormative agenda. OK that’s it for my academic mumbo, I swear!
See session times and buy tickets for “Animation for Kids” here.
Thanks for reading!
Images courtesy of: Medusa Productions