Dimanche/Sunday (2011) Review | Jamie Daily

Dimanche/Sunday (2011)
84th Academy Awards (2012)
4/5 Stars
Nominated for Best Animated Short (Patrick Doyon).
Watched August 28, 2012.


There is so much obvious symbolism in this little 10 minute short that I don’t know what to do with myself.  From vultures to giant trains, from tractor-preoccupied grandpas to sticky food–it is clear from the beginning that this simple animation from Canada speaks volumes of innovation and technology being the vultures of society while the older generation are stuck in their ways of the past.


It is a story of a boy and his family.  Surrounded by adults, he preoccupies himself by placing coins on the railroad tracks.  After church, in which he puts one of his train-squished coins in the collection plate while his father sleeps, he is taken to his grandparents’ house.  Just as his father’s animated thought bubbles are always preoccupied by tractors and farming equipment, so are his grandpa’s.  When the train comes through, it is a hulking black mass that dwarfs the entire town by stretching hundreds of feet above the roofs to extend past the frame of the screen.


At his grandparents’ house, the boy’s grandma gives him a bowl of what I assume are nuts.  However, they are all stuck together.  There is a bear head on the wall who is actively seeking attention from the boy.  Once his grandma gives him a furry hat (everyone else is wearing fur, and now he is as well), he runs outside to the train track with a coin from his grandpa’s pocket and places it on the tracks.  The bear pulls his head out of the wall and comes running, only to be hit by the train.  With bitter sadness, the boy picks up the coin and sees the side with the bear.  Instead of taking the money, he puts it back on the track, where it is taken away only seconds later by the ever-present vultures that are constantly atop the power lines.  As the sun sets, he and his family drive home in the dusk, past the giant factory that also lies beside the tracks.


According to Double B Reviews, the factory is no longer open and thus money is a huge preoccupation for the town.  Dimanche/Sunday is a study of animation and of life and death.  There is so much animal death presented through roadkill, and of course the train, that many of the short reviews I have been able to find online where disturbed.  The director, Patrick Doyon, was “inspired by his childhood” (Educational Media Reviews Online).


If it wasn’t for the symbolism, I probably wouldn’t have liked this animation.  Having been trained on shorts and understanding that no second should be wasted, I knew that their statements had to be everywhere.  If you are curious about Canadian animation or the points I have talked about above, I would certainly advise seeing this film.  However, if you’re in it for the plot or the characters, you might find your 10 minutes wasted.


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Sources: Antagony & Ecstasy Animation MagazineIMDBDouble B ReviewEducational Media Reviews OnlineWIUX Blog

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