Short Film Theater: ‘The Lost Thing’


Based on a children’s book written by Shaun Tan, “The Lost Thing” is a charming animated short about a boy who discovers a mechanical crab-like creature while out collecting bottle tops at the beach. Despite everyone else’s lack of interest in the creature, the boy empathizes with his new friend, and begins a journey to find out where it belongs.

The film’s use of signs and arrows is interesting, and suggests something about the ease and resulting inadequacy of following the standard path set out in front of us. Perhaps being “lost” (or simply going off the beaten track) isn’t always such a bad thing, and by the end of the film, it is no longer crystal clear which character is actually “lost.”

As for the visuals, the complex city landscapes, intertwined pipes, and elongated buildings are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, while the monster designs are friendlier versions of the bizarre creatures you may find scribbled in one of Tim Burton’s sketchbooks.

Directed by Andrew Ruhemann, “The Lost Thing” won an Academy Award last night.

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2 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    I think this and “The Gruffalo” were the two best animated short films this year.

  2. Jen #

    Very nice. I loved the ending.

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