Written by: #RyanByrne
Animation by: #KrystynaSyniushchenko
Animated films can take many forms and can cover any subject matter you can think of. They can be funny or sad, they can be thought-provoking, or they can be a story-driven powerhouse. Or, as Pixar has taught us, they can be all of that at the same time. And that’s undoubtedly how (writer) Ryan Byrne’s deeply moving animated short movie, A Statue’s Best Friend, plays out; like a Pixar short.
A stray dog wanders through a park one dour and rainy night, ignored by all who pass. And a solitary statue, with only the faint glow of a streetlight for company, stands tall in the gloom, ignored by all who pass. Two kindred spirits, both a world apart in likeness but craving the same thing. Companionship. And so, when the dog seeks shelter from the rain underneath the statue, it comes to life, and the two begin a beautiful friendship.
There are two characters in the film, and neither one of them has any dialogue. You know, with one of them being a dog and the other being a statue. But what’s really impressive here is how much character is expressed throughout the movie’s, albeit very short, three-minute runtime by virtue of the animation and music alone.
Krystyna Syniushchenko’s animation itself is a little rough around the edges, unsophisticated even. But that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Because it really is. The movie, shot in gorgeous grey tones, is bursting with loveliness and sincere sentiment. The exact same thing can be said of the movie’s soundtrack (from Van Leucia). In essence, it’s beautifully compelling and effortlessly haunting, and its tragic undertones and old-school, Casablanca-like inflexions, gift the film a genuinely unique ambience.
At its core, A Statue’s Best Friend is a movie about love in its purest form. Two vastly different beings, finding joy and acceptance with one another. And with no material gains to be had by either. It’s a lovely idea; a story told with a flair of enchantment. It left me wondering was this a film to be taken at face value? Was the statue really alive? Or was this, perhaps, a figment of a lonely dog’s imagination? Or is it metaphorical for something even more profound?
Whatever the case may be, A Statue’s Best Friend is a heart-warming tale of love and loss. One which rivals the work of one of the most renowned animation studios around (Pixar). Byrne’s film, just shy of three minutes long, is as beautiful (and devastating) as the first ten minutes of Pixar’s smash hit, Up. A Statue’s Best Friend is available to watch on YouTube, and you should. Believe me, you won’t forget this one in a hurry.