588. The Black Dog – Alison De Vere


SUMMARY: A girl is visited in her sleep by a black dog who leads her into a dream world of symbolic tests.

WHY IT’S HERE: With ‘The Black Dog’, Alison De Vere made the masterpiece that was clearly in her from day one. The previous ‘Café Bar’ and ‘Mr. Pascal’ were small masterworks in their own right but with ‘The Black Dog’ De Vere opened out her exquisite vision into an 18 minute symbolist odyssey which is up there with some of the greatest achievements in the animated short. Black dogs have always been synonymous with depression but here the titular dog is something more; a guide on a journey of self-discovery and a guardian of the finer parts of a young woman’s soul. De Vere’s distinctive style is immediately beautiful and appealing while maintaining a childlike primitivism that is essential to its effect. Immediately evocative of the 80s animation heyday when Channel 4 would regularly screen animated gems from up-and-coming directors, ‘The Black Dog’ is one of the masterpieces of British animation and its idyllic closing images of a reflected parent-child relationship are some of the most touching ever put on film.


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