23rd Animation Division New Face Award

Wandering mouse

Animated short film

TSUKIJI Nohara [Japan]

Outline

An animated film that depicts a lone mouse, wandering without purpose or destination. After Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market was moved to Toyosu, an estimated 10,000 rats lost their home. That event deeply affected this animator, already adept at drawing mice after previously creating animation featuring mice as characters, and inspired him to make a film about the meandering of a mouse that has nowhere to go. This film was created by projecting animation onto streetscapes and simultaneously filming the projected images using projectors and cameras mounted on a moving cart. Additionally, an application was developed to make the mouse randomly jump or fall over, enabling the creators to control the animation by adjusting it to match the actual background onto which the images are filmed.

Reason

True to its title, the film depicts a mouse wandering aimlessly while we witness its journey. The method of its creation, projecting images of the wandering mouse onto walls and rocks using a mobile projector, grabs our attention. Even more fascinating about this film, though, is that while the tale’s starting point is the factual event of moving the market from Tsukiji to Toyosu, the artist chooses not to purpose the film to deliver any kind of appeal, but, rather, to find some degree of compromise in the aimless wandering of a mouse that has lost its home due to the relocation. The sensitivity of the artist here is truly amazing. The rats of Tsukiji are perhaps not as endearing as the mouse in this animation, but I trust that viewers will accept the meager message it delivers, unburdened by any particular moral. (WADA Atsushi)