A Year in Shorts Day 47: "Give Up Yer Aul Sins"
We’ve covered a few Christmas films in our Year in Shorts, and each of them contains some important Yuletide staples. Presents. Elves. Horrible acts of destruction and violence. All these things are essential Christmas traditions, and yet I hope that you don’t think I’ve forgotten the reason for the season. And to prove my point, let’s talk about the 2001 short Give Up Yer Aul Sins.
Give Up Yer Aul Sins is the first in a series of shorts which all follow a simple but clever premise: using archival interview footage from the 60s, the filmmakers (led by director Cathal Gaffney) takes schoolchildren's retellings of Bible stories and set them to animation. Today's story is about John the Baptist, so it's not technically a Christmas story. But it does have Jesus in it, and that's more than Ferdinand the Bull can say.
The idea of building an animated short over the ramblings of children is nothing new; we covered a similar short with Moonbird just over a week ago. But I think the concept works a lot better here, for a few reasons. One is that Give Up Yer Aul Sins is considerably shorter, which certainly helps. And the animation brings a lot more to the table with this one, I think, adding a lot of fun sight gags and just a nice sense of style. And ultimately, I think the short's undeniable Irishness just adds a little extra something to this short that makes it all the better to watch.
Maybe that doesn't make much sense. Whatever the case, Give Up Yer Aul Sins is a fun and simple short which doesn't overstay its welcome, and might even warm the cockles of your old and bitter heart in this most unusual holiday season.
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