Mary and Max wasn’t the end of my bleak claymation trip, I found this short film hiding in the extras. A life condensed into about twenty minutes, and a life of misfortune, mundane work but also one which appreciates those precious moments. It won an oscar too, something to put in the little book of fakts.
The short film follows Harvie Krumpet from birth all the way up to old age. From the start his misfortune begins as he lives with a form of tourette’s syndrome which causes Harvie to twitch and touch things with his index finger. He grows up with few problems though, until his house is burnt down and his parents die, before being whisked off to Australia to avoid the war. From here we see the rest of his life, and how everything he does leads to a miserable conclusion. It is bleak, but the cute animations and soothing narration make it a rather humorous event.
From lightning strikes to cancer, Harvie gets through his life with a smoke of his cigarette and a scribble in his fakts book. The simple animation and facts which pop up bring comic timing when everything gets a little miserable, and it can almost be uplifting. No matter what troubles he has in life, there is always a way to find some happiness out of it.
The film has character design and traits which can be seen further developed in Mary and Max, but Harvie Krumpet stands tall as its own little film without feeling like a bare draft of another. The condensed nature means it never drags as Mary and Max did, and while it doesn’t have quite as much emotion, the simplistic models and movements carry their weight.
Harvie had it tough, but his life still has those moments we’d all like to experience. A strong support for the people who don’t quite fit in.