909. The Quiet Life – Timothy Hittle

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SUMMARY: Jay Clay and Blue have their quiet life interrupted by a destructive skeleton in his customised war machine.

WHY IT’S HERE: Having spent over a decade working as a Pixar animator, Timothy Hittle revived Jay Clay and Blue, the heroes of his previous shorts as director, ‘The Potato Hunter’ and ‘Canhead’, for a third outing. Although ‘Canhead’ was nominated for an Oscar, Jay Clay and Blue never achieved the same level of fame as that other man and dog team Wallace and Gromit, yet for animation aficionados, the moment Jay emerges from his house after fourteen years away there’s a palpable sense of excitement. Hittle knows his audience and there are immediate references to previous outings, with the monster from ‘Canhead’ now acting as a water feature in Jay’s front garden. Once again, Hittle stages a thrilling battle between Jay and an antagonist, in this case a creepy skeleton driving a wrecking machine that threatens to put an end to Jay and Blue’s new-found domestic bliss. Smoothly animated but with a reassuringly nostalgic Claymation style, ‘The Quiet Life’ keeps up the high standard of the Jay Clay and Blue series and may even be the best of the trilogy.

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