There’s a Man in the Woods: A Review.

Short: There’s a Man in the Woods.
Created by: Jacob Streilein.
Released: 2014.
Running Time: 3.35 min.

This rather interesting animated short utilized a narrative about how rumors can quickly spiral out of control and the consequences that happen. It is told through the point of view of a teacher (who remains nameless throughout), whose entire reputation and life is destroyed by the acts of one child fabricating a story about a man in the woods, and his mother who refuses to believe that her precious darling is behind an untrue story.

The animation style was a lovely mixture of bright colours and simple designs with a unique character style that suited the characters to a tee, seeming fun one minute, and somewhat creepy in another. The construction of the animation as a whole does well in conveying the emotion within the piece.

The plot progress is amazing on this, a good use of the short amount of time allotted to it to build the story, using an easy to frenetic pace, with an almost manic pulse in transitions that culminates into a dark but satisfying ending.

Michael Ho does a could job with his vocal infliction, adding just the right emphasis and tempo at just the right times to carry the story forward, eliciting a sense of empathy, tension and satisfaction with that last uttered line that was first made at the beginning of the short with a more harmless bent. Michael Oh has a very promising career in voice over work if he so chooses.

The only nitpick that I would give the short is that while he does an excellent job, the voice of the main character doesn’t completely jive with the age of The Teacher, sounding a little too young for what was depicted. This weakness is ultimately is overwhelmed by the obvious talent that has gone into this animation and the themes being exercised.

This is an animated short that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys poetry, animation, and important themes couched in good stories.

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