October 28th is International Animation Day!
To celebrate I'm going to share a couple of animated movies I have watched recently. Oddly enough, neither one has any dialogue.
The first is The Red Turtle by Michael Dudok de Wit
A Man is washed ashore on a deserted island where, during his attempts to escape, he meets a red sea turtle.
First off, the animation is beautiful. Nice soft tones and lovely hues. It is able to convey the fury of the sea, the desolation of the island and all of the emotions of the characters without any words being spoken. It was a beautiful film to watch. The story has some fantasy elements in it that you just have to except without explanation. But mostly it is about life and many things that most people can relate to. I'm sure there is symbolism and metaphor here that I missed. I'm sure that if you Google it you will get a lot of interpretations. To me it had to do with The Man finding what he needed while he was looking for something else; and about finding peace and salvation in unexpected ways. This is also a story about love and the cycle of life. I'm sure there are those who would disagree with some of my interpretations. But that is another lovely thing about the film. Everyone will see something different. I think some people will be put off by the fantasy elements and say that the film makes no sense. And it is slow, so I don't think young children will enjoy it. It is not what I expected it to be but I am very glad I watched it.
The second is The Shaun the Sheep Movie by Mark Burton
Shaun decides to have a day away from the farm and leads all his sheep friends into the Big City only to get more adventure than he bargained for.
Shaun the Sheep is stop-action animation. This one would be good for a young audience. There is a lot of silly and goofy action. But as an adult watching this I still had a lot of fun. Although Shaun gets into all sorts of mischief you can't help but root for him as he tries to avoid the dog, Bitzer. The characters, as well as the plot, are a little silly and goofy but the animation still does a great job of telling the story without the use of words. There is a surprising amount of emotion in those little sheep faces. Shaun might not always make the wisest choices but in the end he learns a little something and does the right thing. It is hard not to get attached to these quirky characters. This is another one I am really glad I saw.