Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Gruffalo (2009)

1 Nomination, 0 Wins

Nomination: Best Short Film, Animated - Jakob Schuh and Max Lang

I was well into my teen years when Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's children book The Gruffalo was published, and since I do not yet have any children, I was unaware of the mega-selling and much-loved book, which has sold over ten million copies. As is often the case with films that are adapted from childhood works, so much of one's appreciation for the adaptation is affected by the individual's feelings toward the source material, and those who grew up on The Gruffalo responded with great enthusiasm for Jakob Schuh and Max Lang's short film. Having no such feelings myself, I didn't have the same reaction and attachment to the film that so many have had to the film, which became a favorite of various awards voters and viewers, particularly in the UK.

"The Gruffalo" tells the story of a quick-witted mouse, who makes up a story to survive as he travels through the woods. Of course, as with any morality tale, the mouse's license with the truth is confronted, and he must use his wits to deal with the consequences. It is a very sweet film, and the wonderful cast provides voice work perfectly suited to the characters. The film's run time is a bit bloated at 27 minutes, and it's easy to find several minutes that could have been cut to improve pacing.

"The Gruffalo" is a well made animated short film, and it was well deserving of its Academy Award nomination. I feel it would have benefitted from a few nips and tucks, though perhaps if I had a strong attachment to the source material, I would have greater enjoyment of each moment. A great deal of care was put into the making of this film, and I imagine Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler are quite happy with the filmic adaptation of their story.

Remaining: 3165 films, 874 Oscars, 5443 nominations

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