Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing is a labour of love – a film of only 15 minutes which took 4 people 3.5 years to make. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, as the saying goes. I love to see any creative work done with such complete commitment, devotion to detail and (most of ALL) heart.
The story is set in a retro-future world, where most people are too absorbed in their colourless drudgery to notice anything truly special or unique… even if it is bright red and bigger than a transit van.
Ostensibly this is an innocent childlike fable, and yet it has a deeper commentary which is as sad as it is hopeful. It hints at a safe and bright place where individuality is the norm; where specialness itself is harboured and celebrated; where lost things find their home.
…but it’s worth watching just for the artwork alone. There are countless endearing details that can easily be missed on first viewing.