The winners of the Best Short Animation BAFTA are varied...

Don't Feed The Pigeons by Antonin Niclass ('21) (UK) (9m) *

Don't Feed The Pigeons, which won the BAFTA in 2022, is set in a coach station in the middle of the night, where a varied assortment of travellers wait in silence while the pigeons go about their business. When the pigeons take flight in a display that inspires awe in the humans, there is a momentary connection. The animation is, of course, awesome and there are some nice moments but the story is perhaps a little limited - as is often the case with the BAFTA winner.


The Owl And The Pussycat by Mole Hill (2020) (UK) (4m)

Based on Edward Lear's nonsense poem about two romantically linked animals who go to sea in a pea-green boat and end up dancing in the light of the moon - the moon, the moon - as newlyweds. As the story is 150 years old and I have little knowledge of animation techniques, there is little I can say about the film (or why it was deemed worthy of the BAFTA). The golden colours are nice.


Granddad Was A Romantic by Maryam Mohajer ('19) (UK) (5m)

Created by British-Iranian animator Maryam Mohajer, Granddad Was A Romantic seems to be telling a Persian love story until a more earthy (perhaps British) sense of humour reveals itself. It is voiced by Maya Naraghi, who had collaborated with Mohajer on her previous short animation, Red Dress. No Straps, which also tells a Persian story from a child's point of view. I am not qualified to critique animation but I prefer this short to many of the more recent BAFTA winners due to its brevity and funny ending.


Roughhouse by Jonathan Hodgson (2018) (UK) (16m)

As ever with animated shorts, I can only really appraise the storytelling and not the animation itself. It starts with some casual animal cruelty by three Birmingham (UK) boys; then tells the story of these three unlikeable friends as they travel to art college in Liverpool and befriend a law student who encourages them to bully one of their number when he stops contributing to the rent. This leads to the bullied man considering suicide.


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