Canvas (2020) Review

Another delightful animated short released by Netflix, they have out a few of these out recently and they have all been just beautiful.

Certificate: U

Written and Directed by: Frank E. Abney III

Genre: Animation, Short

Runtime: 10 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl Howe

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After the death of his wife, an elderly artist has lost his inspiration to paint. He has pretty much lost his inspiration to do anything. Despite encouragement from his young granddaughter, he just doesn’t want to pain anymore, shutting up his art studio and starring at an empty easel all day. Until his granddaughter opens up the studio and he finds something that brings him joy again, and finally reignited his passion for art.

Netflix are doing a great job with these short, impactful, animated shorts that they are releasing recently. The last one I saw ‘If Anything Happens, I love You’ was one of the most beautiful animations I have ever seen, and while not quite as beautiful artistically speaking, this short sure does hit you in the feels nearly just as hard.

The animation is mostly the much more common 3D animation that most studios use, but there is one sequence that is hand drawn, and if the whole film had been drawn this way it could have been phenomenal. The style of the animation does nothing to take away the beautiful and heart breaking story that the writer is trying to tell. I t just manes that it doesn’t necessarily stand out as well from other animations that you can find. A more signature style is always going to have a longer lasting effect.

Again this film has no dialogue apart from a few sighs and gasps, so you have to piece the story together yourself. And while it isn’t hard, that is mostly because there isn’t much story to pick up. I would have liked to see this short be maybe five minutes longer and expand a bit on the relationship between the artist and his wife, give them a bit of a romantic story, to help us to connect with his grief.

Poignant and beautiful, even if it is bit on the too short side, if you have a spare ten minutes around this hectic time of year, I would recommend giving this a watch.

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