©︎ Aparte,Sacrebleu,Mind’s Meet

24th Animation Division Excellence Award

MARONA’S FANTASTIC TALE

Animated feature film

Anca DAMIAN[Romania]

Outline

Nine is born last in a litter of nine puppies, her beautiful mother a stray and her father pedigreed with a distaste for mixed-breed dogs. This little dog with a heart-shaped nose is quickly separated from her family of origin but finds joy in her days with the acrobat Manole, who renames her Ana. But Ana suspects she is holding back Manole’s career and leaves, next meeting the construction worker Istvan and renamed again: Sara. But Istvan’s partner doesn’t make it easy, and Ana once again takes her leave. Sara then meets Solange, a little girl who names her Marona and with whom she develops a new bond. The film shows Marona growing up and finding moments of happiness in her interactions with the cast of human characters. The illusive and light hand-drawn illustrations pair with 3DCG for an impressive viewing experience from the perspective of a dog that poses the question, “What is most important to me?”

Reason

Despite high visual acuity, a dog is said to have poor color vision. I suppose we can’t know unless we ask. MARONA’S FANTASTIC TALE is a treasure trove of bold, expressive studies of such vision. The film makes use of limited yet dynamic perspectives, low-angle backgrounds combining hand-drawn illustration and CG, explosive and peculiar use of color, and odd examples of humanity and inhumanity. For 90 minutes, we experience life as a dog, simultaneously and inexplicably left plumbing our own childhood memories. On the surface, Marona is tragically short-lived, tossed about according to human whimsy. But the earnestness with which she experiences slivers of hope and joy preclude her from victimization. Instead, the tragedy lies within us, with the feeling it is we who have lost something. (MIZUSAKI Jumpei)