steamboatmouse: (The Sword in the Stone)
Steamboat Mouse Animation ([personal profile] steamboatmouse) wrote2009-08-23 11:08 pm

on LAVATORY LOVESTORY

SOMEONE asked me if I would ever do reviews for shorts, such as the ones nominated for an Oscar this year, and the answer is absolutely yes. Shorts are so incredibly important, much more than people realize. A film gives you ninety minutes to tell a fully story and introduce all your characters, but a short often gives you less than ten. It's a way for new, rising animators and storytellers to show their talent without going as far as making a full feature film.

Lavatory Lovestory is one of my favorites out of the bunch, and for a very simple reason - it's simple. The story is easy to follow, there is no dialogue, the characters are nothing more than a few lines, and everything except the flowers is either black or white. Despite being created in Russia, the story is something that anyone can understand without the need of dialogue. A woman in a bleak lavatory-cleaning life dreams of finding love and happiness, and suddenly finds bright flowers in her coin jar from an anonymous admirer. Simple as that.

Films such as this are important for two reasons: 1) it shows Europe's and Asia's recent rise in animation, particularly in 2D work, and 2) it shows that animation does not require complicated designs or effects to tell a solid story.

France is definitely showing an animation boom, especially with the release of Persepolis and other shorts that followed. Russia has created much of their own work over the past seven decades, but has remained overall unknown. Hopefully Lavatory Lovestory will open that up, including to the rest of Asia and Europe as well.

In addition to that, existing Eurasian animation definitely aims to have both a young audience and a mature audience. The main character looks like a middle-aged woman, who is surrounded by middle-aged men. The American and British notion is that animation can only be geared towards children - a notion that is both irritating and entirely false. While the story seems like one found in a child's story - boy and girl fall in love at first sight - all the characters are obviously adults. And yet, there's no reason why a younger audience would not enjoy or not understand this short. Simplicity can go a long way.

You can watch Lavatory Lovestory HERE.