By Eva and Matthew Surridge
Every year the Fantasia International Film Festival has several free screenings of short films for children at Montreal’s McCord Museum of Canadian History. These showings are titled My First Fantasia. On Thursday, July 26, Black Gate‘s regular Fantasia correspondent, Matthew David Surridge, was joined by his niece Eva May Surridge, age 8, to watch a block of shorts titled Daydreams. This special article presents Eva’s thoughts on the movies.
I’ll begin by asking you about each of the movies in turn. First was Anna Gentilini’s “The Amazing Little Worm,” a hand-drawn story about a worm who wants to be other animals.
I think it’s for any ages because it’s very colourful and funny.
Next was Katerina Karhankova’s “Plody mraku” (“Fruits of Clouds”), a story about a small furry creature in a dark forest who dares to explore the shadows and finds a great treasure.
I think it’s not for little little kids because it’s a little scary.
Then was “The Green Bird,” directed by Pierre Perveyrie, Maximilien Bougeois, Marine Goalard, Irina Nguyen-Duc, and Quentin Dubois, a CG film about a bird that’s laid an egg it’s determined to see hatch.
It’s really, really funny. I want to watch it again.
Anna Kuzina’s “Snowsaurus” (“Snegozavr,” «Снегозавр») is a hand-drawn film about a small dinosaur in a modern winter.
I don’t remember it very well because I didn’t really like it.
“Petite Faim” (“Little Hunger”), directed by Valentine Arlès, Lisa Dor, Benjamin Duval, Baptiste Galtier, Keyvan Leriche, and Charlotte Mangin, is a series of CG films about two monsters in a strange land trying to get food for themselves.
I thought it was really fun because the monsters were really cute.
“Dragon Sledge” (“Devochka, drakon y papa,” «Девочка, дракон и папа») by Evgeniya Jirkova (co-written with Anton Olenev) is a traditionally-animated story about a girl going sledding with her father.
I thought it was really imaginative because everything in the girl’s world transforms when she goes down the mountain.
Nicolas Arioli’s “Coin Operated” is a CG film about a little boy with dreams of space exploration.
This one was one of my favourites because it was space-y and nice to watch.
“Made in France,” directed by Lamia Akhabbar, Robin Cioffi, Brice Duble, Stanislas Gruenais, Maxime Guerry, and Alexia Portal follows the strange journey of a lost sock.
It was a really cute movie and kind of entertaining.
Béla Klingl’s “Ambassadors of the Cosmos” (“A kozmosz nagykövetei”) tells a partly-true story of two spacefaring Russian dogs encountering a UFO.
The aliens were my favourite guys because they really talked like an alien and looked like an alien. I liked the dogs, too because they were really silly.
“Atchoo!” by Catherine Trudel-Aubry is about a small wizard who sneezes at an inconvenient time.
It was really short, a one minute production, but it was also really cute.
Lizzie Zhang’s CG film “Wishing Box” follows a pirate, his monkey, and the wishing box of the title.
This one was definitely my favourite because there was a bit of everything in it.
Finally, “Miriam’s Hen’s Dream” (“Miriami kana unistus”) by Andres Tenusaar is about a hen who has hopes of fight.
I don’t remember it very well because I didn’t really like it. It was a cute little film.
Which one did you like the most? Which one did you like the least?
The one I like the most was “The Wishing Box,” because it was really funny. I think I disliked “Made in France” the most because it was a bit boring to watch.
Would you like to see more episodes of any of them, with more adventures of the characters?
Yes I would! I would like to see more of “The Wishing Box.” I would like to see the pirate get embarrassed again. It would be the same, but different.
Which was the funniest? Which was the scariest? Which was most exciting? Were there any that were especially moving?
The funniest was “The Green Bird.” Everyone in the audience was laughing. The scariest was “Plody Mraku.” A baby in the audience cried while we were watching it. “Plody Mraku” was also the most exciting to watch. It made it worth the scariness.
Did any of them seem too long?
I got bored in “Petite Faim.”
Did you get confused during any of them?
None of the movies had characters talking to each other (except for a little bit in “Made In France”). Were you able to understand everything that happened anyway? Or do you think any of the movies should have had characters talking to each other, and explaining what was happening and why they were doing things?
Some of them I understood, and some of them I didn’t but it was still fun to watch and figure it out.
Do you think younger kids would enjoy these movies?
Yes, except the little little kids for “Plody Mraku.”
Which movie was the prettiest? Were there any that you didn’t like looking at?
I think “Atchoo!” was the prettiest. I really liked how it looked. There were none that I didn’t like looking at.
Did you think there were any bad guys in any of the movies?
Yes, maybe the pirate in “Wishing Box.” I think he might have been the bad guy because he was being selfish.
Did you think all the movies together felt too long, too short, or just right?
Find the rest of Matthew’s Fantasia coverage here!
Matthew David Surridge is the author of “The Word of Azrael,” from Black Gate 14. You can buy his first collection of essays, looking at some fantasy novels of the twenty-first century, here. His second collection, looking at some fantasy from the twentieth century, is here. You can find him on Facebook, or follow his Twitter account, Fell_Gard.