SUMMARY: Ari Gold remembers his mother Melissa Gold in the aftermath of the helicopter crash that killed her.
WHY IT’S HERE: Ari Gold’s ‘Helicopter’ is an astonishingly powerful film that uses animation sparingly but effectively. For the most part, this 20 minute dramatization of the aftermath of a mother’s death and the effect it has on her children is a live-action short but throughout the piece we continually see flashes of an animated helicopter at pivotal moments. While some may dispute ‘Helicopter’s place on this list due to the intermittent animated sequences, it is in fact an important film in showing what a powerful tool animation can be for a filmmaker. The helicopter crash, which we see depicted in stark black and white, is the central event of the narrative and Gold chooses to show this in an animated sequence, which epitomises the power animation can have when used in inventive and challenging ways such as this. As such, this fantastic film has as much of a place on an animation list as it does on live-action short lists. It may not be an animated film per se, but directors open to the medium in this way play a big part in helping doubters to see that animation is not a children’s medium.