820. The Mantis Parable – Josh Staub

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SUMMARY: A caterpillar needs help to escape from a bug-collector’s jar but a praying mantis writes it off as hopeless… until it finds itself in a similar predicament.

WHY IT’S HERE: Former computer game developer Josh Staub made ‘The Mantis Parable’ entirely by himself in his spare time, right down to the musical score. A labour of love, this eight minute short took 18 months to complete and helped secure Staub a job as animator at Walt Disney Studios. A touching tale of our responsibility to help each other through life, ‘The Mantis Parable’ uses realistic but relatable insect characters to tell its tale. The highlight of the film is a conversation between a praying mantis and a caterpillar, which consists entirely of silent gesticulations through the transparent barrier of a glass prison. Staub’s delicate piano score beautifully captures the mood of the piece and his setting of the film on a table-top in clear view of a window to freedom is tantalisingly compelling. ‘The Mantis Parable’ received international acclaim and was more than worth the blood, sweat and tears that obviously went into its creation for the joy and hope it has brought to so many people.

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