The concept of mortality, when related to all living things, humans and animals alike, is what leads to the birth and proliferation of a survival instinct. They are only around for a limited time, and a step in the wrong direction can rather easily spell a premature end to their life. For an immortal, however, day to day life would probably be conceptualised in quite a different way. With no time pressure to act before a certain stage of their life, and no risk of death at every turn, what would an immortal being do if he or she ever got bored? Writer and director Julian Black Antelope explores this intriguing question in his short animated film, ‘A Trickster Tale‘.
Often sleeping on the job or performing tasks at the last possible instance, with minimal attention allocated to the matter at hand, a shape-shifting demigod revaluates his outlook on life when a dog gets credited for saving an old woman’s life, who had been sleeping under an unstable tree branch. The two embark on an adventure and travel through many lands, before they find themselves challenged by a huge boulder. Excited at the opportunity of adventure, the demigod performs a risky trick, and has to deal with the outcomes.
‘A Trickster Tale’ is a charming, brightly-coloured and feelgood short animated film, one which is sure to delight audiences with a simple yet fun story that carries plenty of substance within it if one wishes to look deeper. It showcases a parallel between two outlooks on life born out of different conditions – one knowing the limits to its possible action span, the other eager to test them and push further into the unknown. It is all about discovering oneself and finding new manners of entertainment and meaning.
The short film by Julian Black Antelope is a perfect mix of a more experimental-like design with regard to visuals and structure, but also a throwback to genre classics when it comes to some of the content – the chase sequences, for instance. It is a harmonious melange that should offer something noteworthy for everyone, and its dynamism and bright visual palette, combined with an amusing sound design make for a memorable project that feels both relaxingly entertaining and interesting in the same time.