With animation and digitally produced cinema becoming more complex it was somewhat refreshing to see a children’s film that brought a purity based on a strong and imaginative narrative rather than special effects.
Using stop motion animation with over 100 puppets and 11 sets the world of Whizzy, a little mouse and Whitebelly the fox is brought to life. After an accident, they meet in heaven but it’s fair to say the topic of death is not an easy one for a young children’s film.
It was all too much for one small boy who left in the first 15 minutes with hysterical tears, leaving his mum sitting alone. That said my children who were a little older found it a moving experience.
My son Ryan remarked that the movement and animation reminded him of the Ray Harryhausen exhibition also continuing it’s run in Edinburgh.
Heaven is imagined as very much a place on earth, that features hot-tubs something my daughter has often suspected. The sense of being washed and cleansed of inequality is a strong theme and there’s a lot of food for thought around issues such as character and dealing with inner demons but beyond the style and big themes, this is very much a story of friendship.
When the two animals lose their earthy instincts they are reborn into a new state of being and understanding of the other.
The film manages to deliver some complicated ideas with delightful simplicity.