SUMMARY: The owner of a local convenience store in the run down Cobble Hill neighbourhood of Brooklyn entrusts the keys to his store to high school student Felix.
WHY IT’S HERE: Adam Parrish King has worked mostly as a sound editor but in 2006 he released his self-penned animated film ‘The Wraith of Cobble Hill’. This subtle, slow-paced and thoroughly engrossing fifteen minute film is a stop-motion urban drama shot in grainy black and white. The choice to shoot in black and white, as well as the rudimentary but appealingly retro appearance of the stop motion characters and the marvellously evocative sets, make ‘The Wraith of Cobble Hill’ one of the most atmospheric short animations of the 21st century. The voice acting, particularly that of Jonathan Sayres as Felix, is impressively naturalistic. Listen for that moment when he also says “shit” in front of Mr. H the store owner and quickly changes it to “stuff”. Little details like this appear throughout the film, making it consistently enjoyable but ultimately it is the small, delicately crafted story that sets ‘The Wraith of Cobble Hill’ a notch above much of the competition. The final shot has enormous implications but does not spill over into moralising or overstate the difference the events have made for the character of Felix. A change has taken place but whether that will lead to a permanent change of character or further small changes in the future is left up to the audience to decide. King respects the viewer more than many directors and it’s a shame this little gem never got the Oscar nomination it deserved.