Returning to the format that saw her win a BAFTA and earn an Oscar nomination, with previous short film The Bigger Picture, Daisy Jacobs is back with another life-size animation, The Full Story. Building on the impressive craft that wowed festival audiences around the world, by adding more characters, more detail and even real actors, Jacobs’ latest film (co-directed with Christopher Wilde) might not have received the same accolades as its predecessor, but its arguably a more accomplished piece with a more impressive production.
Essentially, an “if these walls could talk” tale of a family house through the ages, Jacobs’ eight-minute film takes us on an emotive journey through the life of Toby, as he recalls the ups-and-downs of childhood and the effect it had on him, now he’s all grown-up. A film about families and memories, The Full Story perfectly captures the turbulent adolescent years by injecting its audience into the headspace of its protagonist as he reflects on how his earlier years sculpted him into the man he is today.
With the family home central to the story here, Jacob’s large-as-life “paint-on-walls” animation feels perfectly matched to the premise. Like with her previous film, the narrative doesn’t feel groundbreaking or particularly memorable, but it’s the craft the elevates it from good to great.
Like most, I was wowed when I first experienced Jacobs’ unique aesthetic and though I was a bit concerned The Full Story might just be “more of the same”, she’s raised her game craft-wise and is now really pushing the format to its full potential. The addition of real actors is a charming move, with their appearance perfectly matched to their painted counterparts and in general, the period details (wallpaper, carpets, clothing) are an intoxicating touch that capture that specific time perfectly.
Much like Oh Willy… and This Magnificent Cake!, The Bigger Picture and The Full Story are shining examples of an animator honing a unique and instantly recognisable style, but like most fans of Jacobs’ work, I’m left wondering what next? Could she push this style into a feature length project and would it work? Or will her next project be something totally different?