Sunday, December 21, 2014

the gift of a bike

The following review was posted by Toronto-based Jenny Treash. It concerns the latest animated short
film by the award-winning Torill Kove, which recounts memories of growing up in an unconventional family
in 1960s Norway. Kove earned a masters degree in Urban Planning prior to becoming an animator. 

As kids, I think we'd all admit to being embarrassed by our parents at one time or another.  In Torill Kove's 
animated short film "Me and My Moulton," a seven-year old girl struggles with the notion that her family 
is unconventional and different and she's quite bothered by it.  She's envious of the family living downstairs 
because she views them as normal.  The father is clean shaven.  Her dad has a moustache – the only man 
in a town of 10,000 people with one.  And this makes her stomach hurt.

The little girl and her two sisters long for a traditional bicycle like the one the children downstairs have.  They 
ask their parents for one and are told that a bike has been ordered for them from England.  When it arrives, 
it is a Moulton; a folding bike with small wheels and a tall seat and handlebars.  "Our parents have bought 
the bike they wanted," the little girl remarks.  It can be taken apart to fit inside the truck of a car, her parents 
proclaim proudly.  But they don't have a car.  They don't drive.  Despite their initial dismay at seeing the 
unique bicycle, the three sisters climb on their moulton and take it for a ride.  Though not on the bike they 
had in mind, they're happy.

Watch the 1-minute trailer here or the entire 13-minute animated film at at this link. Soundtrack is by
Kove's husband, jazz musician Kevin Dean.

In this short excerpt, the anxious young protagonist from Me and My Moulton looks on as her architect 
parents re-design Christmas. The tree, presents, and cake are all re-made in simple, clean lines using 
the principles of good design. But will Santa be able to get through the contemporary chimney on the 
family's flat-roofed home?

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