This is a three-minute animated short inspired by a happy toddler, an unhappy car ride, and a pink muppet. The film is a gift to a child, exploring the filmmakers’ personal feelings regarding life, death, faith, art, and the things that we might make, set to a dusty and beautiful demo recording of Joe Raposo’s “Little Things”
Mario – I’m a softie by nature and parenthood certainly hasn’t made my skin any thicker. I’m really easily moved by film, by music, and I welled up when I first heard ‘Little Things’ as sung in the steep falsetto of muppet, Prairie Dawn. I’d wanted to make something for my daughter August, and I was just completely taken by the song. My gift to her became this tiny film, which isn’t filled with a narrative so much as sequence of symbolism, characters, and very personal ideas that I hope adapt in meaning to her as she gets older. I should note, there is no better effigy for my two year old than a stout, observant, nocturnal radio.
The song is written by Joe Raposo, whom I’d later discover was the composer responsible for songs like “Bein’ Green” and “C is for Cookie,” both of which I was of course familiar with. The thing is that, like “Bein’ Green,” the song “Little Things” is an ostensible children’s song packing a melancholic one-two punch for the parents of children – the music is, for me, a suggestion of faith, a delicate treatise on the beauty in the math around us, an admission of the sadness that will surround those in the wake of our lives, and a reminder to embrace creativity, and making things, every day.
Sam – As a kid, I can recall spending hours staring at few particular pieces of furniture and losing track of reality. You’re at a particular height where things just aren’t made with you in mind. It’s when you’re three or four and you’re seeing the underside of tables and chairs. Up close to the details and the upholstery, this unintended perspective emerges that is beautiful and strange. I remember watching scenes of grown ups from the waist down, doing whatever it was they were doing between the legs of a table. The ornaments carved into the table legs almost gave it the feeling of a theatre or a stage. There was an uncertainty in my sense of perspective and it could shift so dramatically.
I’d imagine playing on the lighting fixtures and fans and puzzle over how to move from room to room without doors. This short piece of film has something to do with those memories for me. The protracted moments of childhood day-dreaming in the world of table legs and bottom book shelves — so many things that don’t yet have names. The landscape that was so frightening and wonderful for a short time before it became completely ordinary.
Mario & Sam – We just wanted to quickly thank everyone who helped make this short — Karen Falzone for helping make the music happen, Nico Raposo for his interest in offering us his father’s amazing demo recording, Jennifer Marie for producing this personal project (August’s mom/Verrier Lamp, coincidentally), and August for being such a cool little lady. Thanks to you guys too, for watching and reading.