The children's lit/Australian pride worlds are abuzz today over Shaun Tan's win at the Academy Awards on Sunday, in the Best Short Animated Film category for "The Lost Thing," which is based on Tan's picture book of the same name.
The film is just under 15 minutes in length, and can be viewed online here. Oddly, it has subtitles in French, which I found distracting, since I have a solid picture-book-level vocabulary in French and thus could actually read the subtitles pretty easily.
Tan's work is incredible; his illustrations, his style, are beyond gorgeous. Perhaps his best-known (most readily available?) book in the States is his collaboration with John Marsden, The Rabbits, which is actually quite a devastating read.
"The Lost Thing" is a wonderful, wondrous film, more than tinged with a kind of surrealist melancholy. I'm tempted to search out its symbolic and allegorical "meanings" - the number of potential meanings is rather large, I think - but part of me just wants, for now, to enjoy it as a gorgeous, strange, strangely touching, short film.
Go watch it. Enjoy. You will be very glad that you did.