Numberlys

SIFF Review: The Family Picture Show

This program is a highlight of the festival every year: 12 diverse short films united only by their appropriateness for all ages. Most but not all are animated, but you certainly needn’t be a child or a parent of children to enjoy the suite.

My 4-year-old daughter, 7-year-old son, and I went to see it last weekend, and herein are the ones we found most memorable, although there were none this year we truly disliked

Overall Favorite: Forward March!

Perhaps you’ve wondered what would happen if several British soldiers with unshakeably rigid marching procedures were beset by a mischievous creature who resembles the furry hats they wear. Or what would happen if you stopped up a bagpipe with Jell-O. Wonder no more. The answer could never be anything else.

7-Year-Old’s Favorite: The Numberlys

Visually the most impressive entry, owing an explicit debt to Fritz Lang’s monumental Art Deco stylings, The Numberlys posits the origins of the alphabet. Logically, it was a bit thin for me—why exactly are numbers oppressive?—but is was transfixing to watch. This was an unqualified winner for both kids.

4-Year-Old’s Favorite: The Pink Helmet Posse

A mini-documentary about 3 6-year-old girls learning to skateboard like small bee-fearing badasses without forgoing their fairy wings. Though I found the girls just a wee bit insufferable occasionally, the Girl Power message was awesome, and my daughter declared that I am to teach her to skateboard as soon as possible.

Honorable Mention: The Smortlybacks

For the kids, this was hilarious because the creatures have suction-cup mouths and target-shaped butts, designed to be stuck together. I concur—it is hilarious. It’s also surprisingly poignant, inventive, and sweet. There’s an exceedingly good reason for this anatomical approach to travelling. I can confidently say I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Most Polarized Reactions: First Prize

Olen loved this live-action revenge tale set in the mid-60s-ish, where the nerdy dinosaur lover has his day against his naysayers. Violet thought it was a bit scary, and I thought it was a slightly clumsy homage to Wes Anderson. Still, a satisfying end redeems much.

Overall Least Favorite: Super Secret

We all agreed that this was our least favorite for one reason: the man in it was just really unpleasant to look at. So much so that we all, independently, found it distracting. But the story was clever and cute, and it’s a mark of a good year when our biggest complaint was character design.

{The Family Picture Show screens at SIFF 6/1, 11:00am at SIFF Cinema Uptown}

, , , , , ,