Two crocheted stuffed animals — a Fox and a Dinosaur — love and deeply care for one another, living together in a sushi restaurant after hours. But Fox finds itself in danger and in danger of drowning, and it’s up to Dinosaur to rescue the day. But the Dinosaur hits a snag in the rescue effort and must make a difficult decision to save its loved one.
This short Australian animated film — shortlisted for an Oscar nomination this year — is an elemental, simple narrative. And with its dynamic, colorful visuals and vivid stop-motion, it’s also visually stunning, with great attention to detail and beautifully fluid action. Each shot is precisely framed, giving the tale great clarity.
The story is essentially a classic rescue narrative, which gives directors Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe a chance to create a wide-scale and audacious action sequence that grabs attention and holds interest with expert craftsmanship.
But the creative pyrotechnics don’t just work on the level of art. They’re tied in with the strong, almost primal emotions in this story, which holds love, loyalty and the sacrifices we are willing to make for them at its core.
Amidst all the color and action, the storytelling and editing take great pains to delineate the emotions and connections between the two stuffed figures. The relationship between them is touching and sweet, both epic and intimate at once, which raises the stakes and our investment of the story. The film ends with notes of melancholy, sadness and just a bit of hope, making for a remarkably resonant story.
With its cozy-cute characters, “Lost and Found” will catch the eyes of children with no problem. But its emotional and tragic depth makes it a deeply moving, heartfelt experience. Yes, the short is colorful and charming as many children’s films, but with a genuine sense of loss and sorrow, its ending is guaranteed to linger well after viewing.