Anna & Bella (1984)
Article 6049 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Borge Ring
Featuring the voices of Tonny Huurdeman, Annemieka Ring, Peter Ring
Country: The Netherlands
What it is: Poignant animated fantasy
Two old sisters sort through old photographs and joyfully recall their lives together. But not all memories are happy…
This Dutch animated short won the Oscar for best animated short film of its year, and it’s a worthy choice. The fantastic elements do not manifest themselves until the second half of the short, when one extended memory engages in various fantastical metaphors; furthermore, there’s a final twist which clarifies from just which vantage point the sisters are reminiscing. Despite the fact that it has a voice cast, there really isn’t any dialogue as such; no dubbing or subtitles were necessary here. Children probably wouldn’t care for this one, and the animation style, though well done, may be a matter of taste. Nonetheless, this short, both comic and poignant, is worth catching.