Today’s Oscar nominated animated short is Me and My Moulton, a co-production between the National Film Board of Canada and Norway’s Mikrofilm. At over 13 minutes, this is one of the longer films in the lineup. A charming, introspective story, Me and My Moulton is written and directed by Torill Kove. She won the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 2007 for her film, The Danish Poet, and received a nomination back in 2000 for My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts, so she’s no newcomer to the Oscars.
Me and My Moulton offers a glimpse into the life of a seven-year-old girl growing up in Norway in 1965. She’s the middle child in a set of three, and her parents are modernist architects who don’t seem to realize just how odd they are. When she asks for a simple bicycle, instead of just going to the local shop, her parents insist on ordering it specially from Britain. Her father’s outrageous mustache (the only one in town!) is the source of much embarrassment. She envies the normal, seemingly perfect life of her best friend’s family in the downstairs apartment.
With its bright, simplistic animation, Me and My Moulton does a good job of capturing the feel of childhood. The story progresses in a roundabout fashion, following the little girl’s thoughts and observations. It’s surprising how much expression can be conveyed through such basic lines and color.
The story is autobiographical, inspired by Kove’s early years and experiences. As quoted by the Toronto Star, “These feelings are not easy for kids. It’s confusing when you don’t have all the insights that you get later in life to realize your parents embarrass you but at the same time you really love them. There are mixed emotions.”
I easily related to this concept, as I expect most people do. My parents aren’t modernist architects–they’re biologists, but they’re definitely very far from the norm. It took me a long time to realize just how atypical my childhood was. By the time I was eight, I had lived in a field station in the Sonoran Desert, handled wild black bear cubs, and knew how to track flat-tailed horned lizards. Our house has always been known for being the place to hold snakes and tarantulas and other such creatures. On occasion, I’ve been embarrassed by how different we are, but for the most part I’ve learned to embrace our peculiarities.
I thoroughly enjoyed Me and My Moulton, and while it’s definitely up against some tough competition, I think Torill Kove has a good chance at another Oscar!
Special thanks to shorts.tv who provided review copies of the nominated shorts.
What do you think of Me and My Moulton? What are some of your strangest childhood memories?
Edited by: Kelly Conley