A Year in Shorts Day 6: "Oktapodi"
When you decide to dedicate a year of your life to covering short films, you find yourself hit with the realization that you're going to have to spend more time writing about most of them than it takes to watch them. And in the case of today's short, you'll probably spend more time reading about it too!
Oktapodi is a 2007 French short about a pair of lovestruck Greek octopuses trying to escape from a restaurant delivery man, which is frankly the sort of premise that animation was made for. Who wouldn't want to watch that?
If Oktapodi reminds me of anything, it'd probably be the classic Tom and Jerry shorts, with its silent protagonists, madcap energy and pleasantly dark sense of humor. None of the gags ever quite reach that level of inspiration, but the spirit is there, helped along by a bouncy score from Kenny Wood. Plus, at three minutes it's a breezy watch. If anything, it leaves you wanting more.
Of course, the animation isn't perfect, but you can't hold that against the film. Oktapodi started life as a student film directed by (deep breath) Julien Bocabeille, François-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, Thierry Marchand, Quentin Marmier and Emud Mokhberi, so of course it's not going to have the polish of a big studio production. If anything, that just adds to its charm.
In spite of all its considerable charm, Oktapodi would not win the Oscar that year, losing to the Japanese short The House of Small Cubes. But seeing as how that is arguably one of the greatest short films of all time, I definitely can't imagine there were any hard feelings about the whole affair.
Sometimes, it really is an honor just to be nominated.
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