THE LOST THING-Short Film
Shaun Tan is an Australian illustrator, author of children's books and projected fiction cover artist. “The Lost Thing” was originally published as a picture book for children in 2000. The screen adaptation of the story was released in 2010 and it won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film the following year. “The Lost Thing” tells the story of a boy who discovers a bizarre lost creature at the beach and sets out to find somewhere it can belong. Tan draws from a large source of inspiration and cites many influences on his work. His inspiration in creating “The Lost Thing” was as he began to imagine a world where this was the only illustrated literature available, where everything was fully explained, clear and functional, including all verbal and visual language, all meaning predefined. If something playful and absurd suddenly appeared in this world, the reaction of the people would show the sense of acceptance and connections established. This became the real subject of the story, not so much the problem of a lost creature as outlined by the text. Tan is omnivorous when it comes to influences, and he loves to admit this openly. Some influences are very direct and the strong language utilise conveys Tan’s awareness of the situation. “The Lost Thing” is a powerful example where Tan makes visual references to famous artworks. Many of his influences are a lot more subtle visually; some of the influences are ideological. INSIGHTS
A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places and the larger world. It is connections that influence where one searches for meaning in ones lives and ultimately where one belongs. This is shown throughout the short film ‘The Lost Thing’. When Tan uses “The Lost Thing” as a salient object it portrays the message that not everyone feels affiliated within a community. It is clearly portrayed throughout the short film that the creature and the central character...
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