Adam and Dog (2012)

Focusing on the silent loyalty of dogs, Minkyu Lee’s debut animated short is a quiet and humble interpretation of the Adam and Eve story. Scaling down what is essentially the grandest narrative in history, Adam and Dog turns a damning conclusion on its head by promising happiness through friendship.

Manipulating darkness and light to great effect, the film opens with wide shots of scenery soaked in sunlight, where a feral dog walks inconspicuously, not searching for anything in particular. After a day of aimless wandering through fields and in among trees, Adam is introduced, and the two (as expected) get along wonderfully. Things go amiss, however, when Eve arrives on the scene and messes everything up, like she always does (please note sarcasm).

Capturing the times of day beautifully, early morning shots have a crisp and clean feel, with colours white-washed, and light peering through every opening. Afternoons are more earthy, with deeper greens, greys and browns taking over. And at dusk the sky’s blue fades into pink, turning the fields vivid orange and the water yellow. It’s at night when the film is at its most serene though, with a star pierced sky and the characters silhouetted against indigo.

The relationship between Adam and dog is well executed, with Lee managing to avoid over-sentimentality. Theirs is a genuine bond, and this is what makes the ending so strong. However, having never been a dog person myself, I found the exploration of man’s primordial connection to the canine family ever so slightly alienating. Eve is present only as a disturbance, and despite being accepting at the end, never feels like a genuine presence. This might be reading too much into it though, as it is only 15 minutes long, and the film’s title is pretty self-explanatory.

Lee’s short manages to lend an animal personality in moments of silence, and despite its shortcomings is undeniably a gorgeous animation, full of colour and enthusiasm.

FINAL VERDICT: ★★★★

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