22nd Animation Division New Face Award

The Little Ship

Animated short film

Anastasia MAKHLINA [Russia]


Animation work about a girl and her friend, an elephant. A toy of an elephant that the girl is playing with disappears from her sight and reappears as a real elephant. The two carelessly play with nothing to bother them. One day, however, the girl is intrigued by a small ship floating in the ocean, and, drawn to what is beyond the water, stares the direction for a while. She runs back to the elephant, but when the boat approaches the beach, she parts the sad-looking elephant and departs on the boat. Childhood ends sometimes imperceptibly for us, and no matter how good it is, the moment to part comes. The puppet and cutout characters depict that adulthood is an inevitability in life for every person.
5 min. 31 sec.

Reason for Award

This film very skillfully depicts its main theme, a child’s fantasy, not the least because it is such an easy theme to depict through the means of animation. The author demonstrates maturity beyond what is expected from her youth. The design of the dolls is truly adorable and their movements are very childlike. The elephant, which is made of a piece of paper, moves in a calm and soothing way, becoming of the girl’s imaginary friend, and the switch between 2D and 3D figures is very enjoyable. The slight movements of the Okiagari-koboshi doll, the blue ball, the room with only the interior visible, and the building made up only of pillars form truly beautiful compositions created with great attention to detail. The little ship, after which the animation is named, skillfully symbolizes the dreams and future of the young girl. The Little Ship is a lovely, heartwarming masterpiece.
(KIFUNE Tokumitsu)