From Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick to Peter Benchley’s Jaws, tales of mythical sea creatures are ripe in storytelling worldwide. Adding to this narrative tradition are five students from SUPINFOCOM Valenciennes, who created an epic tale of a fabled predator for their grad film The Legend Of The Crabe Phare.
When it comes to gigantic creatures rising from the ocean deep, we tend to instantly think of the utter destruction associated with the likes of the Kraken, but the colossal crustacean at the centre of this story is a different kettle of (shell)fish. Yes, he has a penchant for dragging ships down to his ocean floor home, but he’s more intent on collecting than complete annihilation.
In fact, as the narrative of this immense lighthouse crab unfolds, as viewers we quickly begin to understand that the creature isn’t truly the monster of this tale, it’s mankind. The message of this piece is one about the effect humanity can (and does) have on an environment and the pollution and destruction we can inflict without too much thought.
With a serious message at its core, The Legend Of The Crabe Phare is a surprisingly light, fun film. With a nippy 7-minute run-time and some gorgeous design work (I particularly enjoyed the design of the city that gets built on top of the crab), this a short film with an epic scale and universal appeal. It’s yet another impressive addition to the ever-expanding catalogue of grad films coming out of French animation schools.