713. Bunny – Chris Wedge

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SUMMARY: A widowed rabbit who misses her husband is visited by a troublesome moth.

WHY IT’S HERE: American director Chris Wedge’s ‘Bunny’ is a computer animated short from Blue Sky Studios. Blue Sky have always been behind the pack in terms of quality as far as I’m concerned. Their animated features, beginning with the popular ‘Ice Age’ in 2002, have always lacked the charm and innovation of their contemporaries. But in 1998, they made waves with the brilliant, sombre and touching short ‘Bunny’ which went on to win an Oscar. Wedge based the short’s artwork on the Uncle Wiggily illustrations by Lansing Campbell. The short also features wonderful use of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan’s ‘Bend Down the Branches’. The computer animation is terrific for its time but what has marked the film out for most praise is its surprisingly sombre tone, as the central character struggles with the loss of her husband and slowly comes to realise the significance of her nocturnal visitor. There is nothing particularly deep about the simple story but it hits many people on a gut-level with its simple, affectionate storytelling. ‘Bunny’ seemed to promise great things from Wedge but unfortunately his subsequent films have largely been mediocre product like ‘Robots’ and ‘Epic’.

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