A Year in Shorts Day 8: "Bunny"
Few mediums are as wonderfully versatile and exciting as animation. When it comes to live action, there are always limitations to what you can do. Filmmakers are always pushing the boundaries, sure, but even so you can only break reality so far. But with animation, the only true limit is imagination and skill. And in the case of today's short, a willingness to get plain damn weird.
Animator Chris Wedge is probably best known for his role in the Ice Age franchise, directing the first film and voicing the series' unequivocal best character, Scrat the Saber-Toothed Squirrel. But before Ice Age, Wedge won himself an Oscar for his short film, Bunny.
In contrast to the later films released by Blue Sky Studios, Bunny is a fairly low energy, somber affair, following a widowed rabbit's attempt to bake a cake while being irritated by a persistent moth. Don't let anyone tell you cartoons are just for kids folks!
Honestly, it's hard to tell exactly who Bunny IS for, which can be refreshing in a way. It's mostly just a film committed to telling its own odd, melancholy story, and you have to respect that. But of course you don't have to like it either.
Bunny is one of those shorts that's difficult to talk about it because it's neither good nor bad; it merely is. Arguably the most interesting thing about the film is the fact that Tom Waits cowrote the music and sings over the end credits, which is certainly something.
A part of me wishes Bunny had been a little weirder, perhaps getting a little more creative with its slightly creepy and unsettling imagery. Another part wishes it was a little funnier, more willing to engage in some macabre humor. And yet a third part wonders what the film would be like if it tried to tug at the heartstrings a little more.
But there are hundreds of shorts out there that are weird and creepy, or darkly funny, or tender and moving. And none of those shorts are Bunny. I may not particularly enjoy it, but I'm glad it exists.
And besides, if the man who gave us the gift of Scrat doesn't deserve an Oscar, who does?
As always, keep up with our Oscar Bait rankings here on Letterboxd!
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