Varmints (2008)

Would like to say before I start that I haven’t read the book Varmints by Helen Ward and Marc Craste, so I can’t compare the film to it in any way. These thoughts are just from my viewing of the animation.

The story follows a small creature who finds himself in the midst of monstrous urbanization as he strolls quietly and peacefully through the countryside. Having to change his lifestyle to suit a smoggy, dirty city filled with sickness and sadness, he falls in love with another of his kind who has also found herself sucked into this new metropolitan landscape. Dealing with themes of ecology and germination, Varmints proves the awesome power of nature in the face of its eradication.

Exquisitely animated, the contrasting colour palettes work wonderfully as the story moves suddenly from green open fields to brown and grey skyscrapers. The buildings tower over our main character menacingly, their cold stone walls and box windows the epitome of desolation. Genuinely distressing at parts, you find yourself willing the plants to take over, and restore this foul environment to its former glory.

Without words this film manages to convey astonishing feeling. It is a gorgeous and emotional little gem of a tale. I highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t watched it give it a go, even if they don’t particularly enjoy animated movies. At 24 minutes long, its not exactly a challenge to get through.

FINAL VERDICT: ★★★★1/2

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