Review by Carissa Thorp
The Lost Thing is a short film based on Shaun Tan's picture book of the same name. Shaun joined a small team, doing the production design, art direction and storyboarding, as well as co-directing, to make this lovely animated incarnation of his work, bringing to life a vividly drear and retro world, reminiscent of Melbourne in which an unnamed young man (narrated by Tim Minchin) adopts a potbellied crab-like, bell-tongued creature he discovers on the beach. With the creature "obviously" lost and out of place in the young man's world, the two temporary companions must find a solution to their problem.
Blessed with glowing animation, storybook transitions, gentle humor and a dreamlike logic, The Lost Thing is a real gem; whimsical, universal, and yet somehow very Australian (could just be the accent, but I think it’s the light). It may only be 15 minutes long, but it's a very special 15 minutes, recommended for young and old. I hope some day we get to see a feature-length film from the marvelous mind of Shaun Tan.
This review first appeared in the Aurealis Magazine subscriber newsletter.