SUMMARY: A frustrated Charades participant cannot get his audience to guess correctly no matter how vivid his mimes, while his opponent need only make the slightest movement in order to elicit the right answer.
WHY IT’S HERE: Canadian animator John Minnis’s ‘Charade’ is a simple but very funny short film which managed to scoop the Oscar for 1984, beating tough competition from Ishu Patel’s gorgeous ‘Paradise’. Unlike the highly intricate ‘Paradise’, ‘Charade’ is a very simple film made in three months as a college project. Against a plain white background, Minnis’s appealing cartoon characters act out their Charades while the audience calls out guesses. The animation is great but the main appeal of ‘Charade’ is in the constant chuntering dialogue of the guessers as they fail spectacularly to guess the correct answer. The final punchline, which I won’t give away here, is very funny indeed.