Short of the Week

The Pearce Sisters

Aardman Animations takes on this bleak-hearted tale of two isolated sisters in this gritty film that successfully combines multiple genres and animation styles.

In the words of its makers, The Pearce Sisters—a short film based on the story by Mick Jackson and produced by Aardman Animations—is “a bleak hearted tale of love, loneliness, guts, gore, nudity, violence, smoking and cups of tea.” And you know how well tea parties and loneliness mix. Enter the sisters, Lol and Edna Pearce.

Living “a miserable existence on a remote and austere strip of coast”, the two old spinsters are eager to find company, with the complicity of the sea. Possibly male—handsome—grateful? Though they’d hardly win the heart of any living man, The Pearce Sisters won Best Short Animation at the 2008 BAFTA Awards.

Director Luis Cook has been at Aardman Animations since 1994, but this is his first (second, if you count the title sequence for the London Film Festival) non-commercial work. At a time when beauty often seems less exploratory, and more of a formula, it’s refreshing to see a film dive into the aesthetics of ugliness. With every detail in every scene transporting us into this parallel universe born from Luis Cook’s mind—a world both austere and humorous at the same time. As my friend Mike appropriately asked, “If the sisters had only gotten a bikini wax… would things have turned out different?”

One can only guess.

DeK is the force behind the indispensable No Fat Clips where he showcases his finds of the best "intrattenimento visivo breve" (short visual entertainment).
  • LizzyStyles

    I like the idea that Aardman had a competition to figure out who got to make a short film, that’s cool!

  • Une Histoire Vertebrale ‹ Short of the Week

    [...] aspect, with a final result that looks like traditional animation, in a similar fashion to The Pearce Sisters (my last pick, which also shares a near total absence of dialogue). What we see and what we [...]

  • Felonious Punk

    I think the Sisters Pearce are gorgeous the way they are. Anyone who suggest a bikini wax or any other modification of their appearance or behaviors is blind to true beauty.

  • Matter Fisher | Watch the Best Online Short Films

    [...] depth of 3D. The sea theme and the rough-hewn animation may remind you of Aardman’s The Pearce Sisters. All of the 2D elements were animated in Photoshop to mimic a traditional paper animation [...]

  • RSSF2012: The Animation Award | Directors Notes

    [...] the studio has also been producing some outstanding shorts in recent years (Luis Cook’s The Pearce Sisters being an excellent example). Featuring a maths-loving dinosaur and two hapless cavemen, latest [...]

  • Looking Into A Mirror « Zeragoth's Productions

    [...] and its unique take on greed And this really obscure but wonderfully animated cartoon called ‘The Pearce Sisters‘. Just some things that I viewed while making this post. It’s always nice to see other [...]

  • ‘Sound’ Development « Zeragoth's Productions

    [...] The Pearce Sisters (Linked before and an interesting piece from Aardman Animations) Adam and Dog (a more light-hearted approach but with the same impact) The Employment The Girl and the Wolf (A closer similarity to my animation then other mentioned short films in terms of emotional impact) Old Fangs (More use of dialog but with many points in-between with no dialog, with similar approaches to the story telling as the other films) [...]