A Year in Shorts Day 325: "Nibbles"
Some shorts are really easy to talk about. Every Tom and Jerry film we’ve ever covered, for instance. The words just pour out when it comes to those! Other shorts, however, don’t give me much inspiration, and might be better left speaking for themselves. Christopher Hinton’s 2003 short, Nibbles, is definitely one of those films.
In spite of what you might assume, Nibbles is NOT a spinoff film for the baby mouse featured in various Tom and Jerry cartoons. Instead, the film follows a family as they travel on a fishing trip, documenting the various snacks they eat along the way. Inspired by his own trips with his family (to the point that opening credits refer to it as an animated documentary or "documation"), Christopher Hinton apparently made the film fairly quickly and cheaply, enlisting his sons Paul and Max to help him provide the voice work. (Talk about a true family film!) It's pretty obvious that this short didn't have a whole lot of time and money behind it; the animation is sketchy and shaky, and many shots are blatantly recycled. Still, the short isn't without its charms. It moves pretty quick, Hinton's style is delightfully grotesque, and the action throughout is pretty fluid and frenetic. Unfortunately, those charms only take the short so far, and can't quite compensate for the fact that there's just not much there there. Unless you're a huge fan of the sound of people chewing (in which case, gross), I'm not sure if there's much in Nibbles that you'll enjoy. But hey, what do I know?
There is clearly an audience out there for a film like Nibbles, as evidenced by its various awards and nominations, but I'm certainly not a part of it. It's a comedy short which just isn't very funny, even if it is occasionally clever. For the most part, it's just annoying, and even at four minutes it's remarkably repetitive. That said, I don't think it's a bad short, and I can see why people might like it. It's just not for me. Admittedly, that's not a particularly interesting criticism, but what can you do? Nibbles is not a short I like, but it's certainly a film I can respect. Hinton had his own particular vision, and he executed it well. The fact that he was able to do it without many resources makes it all the more impressive. So if you think Nibbles might be a little more up your alley, why not take a bite?
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