Written, Animated and Directed by: Catya Plate
Short Film Review by: Hannah Sayer
The second in a trilogy of stop-motion ecological thriller short films, Meeting MacGuffin is set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity has fallen apart. Through cleverly put together and animated set pieces, Catya Plate’s short film is a fun and impressive look at her talent for stop-motion animation, but also provokes important discussion about humanity’s impact on the environment, climate change and the threats of continuing to treat the planet in a selfish and greedy way.
Meeting MacGuffin begins with a segment recapping what has come before in the trilogy, in the first short film “Hanging By a Thread” (2013). Humanity is now just a memory from the past and the remnants of humans exist only in scattered pieces. A group of characters called Clothespin Freaks live amongst rubble of brains, pelvises, feet, and other body parts, and their mission is to rebuild a new form of humanity by reassembling the remains they see all around them. They have so far managed to rebuild ten of these new beings, named Homeys. The Clothespin Freaks visit a Lost and Found bureau in the underground to find new body parts and try to repair the environmental damage and disrepair done by humanity. What follows is an experimental and bizarre journey as the Clothespin Freaks and the Homeys are taken by a walking and talking Lost and Found sign to meet a groundhog, Gormal McGuffin, PhD, to find the all important parts needed to make more of the Homeys, and reassemble these human parts to create new humans. As climate experts, the groundhogs had been preparing for this environmental disaster caused by humans to occur, and the short film delves into how humans caused all this chaos and damage.
This stop-motion animation is extremely clever and wonderfully crafted. Each character and set piece in the short film looks precisely put together and the overall weird and wacky effect works well at drawing the viewer in. The stop-motion is enthralling enough that you don’t want to look away in case you miss something contained within the precise detail in the film’s short running time.
Meeting MacGuffin works well at both entertaining and informing. The stop-motion animation and the experimental edge to the short film are fun ways of opening people’s eyes to what humans have done to the planet. It might even challenge some viewers to change their habits in a way that can make a positive impact on the environment.
Watch the official movie trailer for Meeting MacGuffin below.