With Childhood of a Circle french graphic designer Kadavre Exquis appears to have created a magical and timeless animation, that’s sure to entrance audiences all around the world, whatever their age.
Harnessing what is truly enchanting about animation and concentrating it into just under three and a half minutes, Childhood of a Circle is a film that holds that mysterious power of transporting you back to your childhood. Traditional animation has this magical power of nostalgia—maybe more than any other medium—but all too often we see possibilities unexplored or lost in mediocrity and imitation. Not here though. Featuring a gentle voiceover, a magical world of bouncing mushrooms, and a retro-tinged soundtrack, Childhood of a Circle is bound to whisk those old enough to remember, back to the heady days of 1970’s/80’s animation. Watching Exquis’ film for the first time, I couldn’t help but be reminded of just how blown away I was all those years ago when witnessing the classic BBC animation Willo the Wisp as a child.
Exquis’ innocent and charming short tells the story of Archibald, a blue bearlike creature who lives his life in harmony with his surrounding world. He spends his days sleeping under the tallest tree in his forest home and strolling with a herd of mushrooms. Bored with his uneventful life, our beastly protagonist finds life suddenly altered in one eventful day when the unexpected arrival of a mysterious circle alters his sole existence forever.
Whilst Childhood of a Circle may look and feel traditional, Exquis’ approach to his film certainly isn’t, with the talented individual (Kadavre Exquis is not a studio but a single person—as he is keen to point out on his website) taking on the role of director, animator and composer on this project. He’s even released the Childhood of a Circle OST on Bandcamp.