Short of the Week

Please Say Something

Simple, fresh animation about the complex relationship between a cat and mouse.

This isn’t your Saturday cartoon about a cat and mouse. Nope. The story follows the troubled relationship between a cat and mouse who live together. They struggle to understand each other as the career-focused mouse and the sensitive cat seem destined to first sabotage and then save one another in what feels like a very real depiction of a 21st century tumultuous relationship. Director, David O’Reilly, admits his attempt to draw out some serious drama in this otherwise emotionless world. No small feat for two cartoon characters that communicate in squeaks and show no facial expression.

Let’s be honest. The story is good, but the visual art direction (or “aesthetic orchestration” as the film puts it) is outstanding—a perfect blend of new age and nostalgia. David puts the digital aesthetic on display in a very authentic way. His compositions reflect the three quarter view of old video games (not unlike A Volta), and at times even uses raw 3D wireframes to portray a characters inner thoughts. Please Say Something makes no attempt to hide it’s construction methods.

The animation is amazing. The pacing and movement of the characters is fast. Watching David play with perspective in referencing security cameras and time-lapse photography, I’m reminded of my first time seeing Aronofsky’s experimental camerawork in Requiem For a Dream. My only quip would be the sometimes overly-exaggerated camera movements when sweeping through rooms.

But it’s the full package that make this film special—the juxtaposition of many opposing things. It’s uniqueness comes from it’s disparity. Told any other way, the story would be ho-hum. The visuals, used for any other brand of story would be entertaining but shallow. It’s a film that has to be done the way it is and must never change—not unlike Cracker Jacks.

I must admit that I am infatuated with this short. I realize that my love is likely disproportionate and temporary, but that is little consolation. Please Say Something is a new favorite of mine.

Note*  — “This was one of the 10 excellent Sundance offerings in 2010. Check out the other 9 selections here

Andrew makes no attempt to hide his love for the magic art of animation. He appreciates compelling visuals but never forgets that in this modern age, a strong story always reigns supreme. You can see his work at or his latest film The Thomas Beale Cipher.
  • Mal

    I’ll join you in your temporary infatuation.

  • 2010 Ottawa Animation Fest Winners | Watch the Best Online Short Films

    [...] approach to narrative storytelling. Earlier in the year we were quite taken by his previous effort, Please Say Something when it showed up for Sundance. The External World will be on the radar for sure. click to [...]

  • The External World: Trailer | Watch the Best Online Short Films

    [...] O’Reilly (the creator behind Please Say Something, one of my favorite films of this year) has a new film The External World that has done well at [...]

  • James McNally

    I noted that this short was used as the basis for the score competition at the 2010 Berlinale Talent Campus. I’ve seen it three times with a different original score, but never seen the original short until now.

  • Jason Sondhi

    And how does the original score stack up?

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    [...] David O’Reilly’s Please Say Something & Madeleine Olnek’s [...]

  • Short Film: David O'Reilly's

    [...] most anticipated animated short film of 2011, David O’Reilly (creator of 2010 Top Ten short Please Say Something) has placed his 17min magnum opus, The External World onto [...]

  • The External World | Watch the Best Online Short Films

    [...] But all of that ends today with David OReilly’s opus, The External World. His previous short, Please Say Something, is one of our Top 10 Short Films of 2010, so after The External World found success at the Venice [...]

  • Best Animation | Short of the Week Awards 2012

    [...] world of David OReilly (Please Say Something) for a spin into low-poly, subconscious madness. Please Say Something was a 2010 favorite, but David OReilly’s followup, The External World feels like his opus. [...]

  • Sundance 2010 Shorts Hit YouTube | Short Film

    [...] Please Say Something — 10 min  — Cat and mouse tale set in the distant future. A 2010 SotW short of the year nominee. See our full review. [...]

  • I, Pet Goat II | Short Film

    [...] rare to see both come together in one film. It doesn’t happen often—David OReilly’s Please Say Something, Eran Hilleli’s Between Bears, Chris Landreth’s Ryan. Now, we present Heliofant’s [...]

  • Movie day =D | ¡Feliz Cumpleaños!

    [...] Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Link May 6, 2013josefelipe92 Leave a comment [...]

  • Wind | Short Film

    [...] Kamp’s career has already seen him take on audio duties for SotW alumni Matthias Hoegg, David OReilly and Dave Prosser. Opting against the use of music, Kamp instead employs some careful selected sound [...]