Whether you’re a parent, a child, or simply a fan of animation, this Sunday is your time to shine. Once again, UCSB Arts & Lectures is devoting an afternoon to family-friendly short film, and like years past, the selections are dazzling, weird, sweet, and smart in equal measure.
This Kid Flix Mix, as it’s so titled on the Arts & Lectures calendar, is essentially a highlights reel from the New York International Children’s Film Festival, which takes place every March in N.Y.C. For this round, attendees will be treated to 12 shorts films — don’t worry, moms and dads, the longest selection is nine minutes long — hailing from Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden, Britain, France, and the U.S. And while none will disappoint, there are a few gems definitely worth mentioning.
Take The Goat Herder and His Lots and Lots and Lots of Goats, a seven-minute story about, well, a goat herder and his flock. The story’s simple, but the vibrant pink and purple color palette — and undeniably mid-century-modern-inspired design — are sure to delight moviegoers of all ages. On the stranger side of things, Australian offering Animal Beatbox plays out like a YouTube video just waiting to go viral. The whole thing is set along the banks of a river, which flows thanks to a labor-intensive exercise in stop-motion animation and to a soundtrack of hilarious animal-naming hip-hop. Also in the mix is Anna Ginsburg’s How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?, a gorgeous Claymation project set to (and pulling its namesake from) Bombay Bicycle Club’s “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep.” The story follows a young boy as he sails to the moon, flies with some space-dwelling jellyfish, and tries to pocket a piece of the glowing mass before he returns home. And between the ethereal details and the soundtrack, it’s one of the dreamiest four minutes of screen time out there.
Arts & Lectures presents Kid Flix Mix at UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Sunday, January 26, at 11 a.m. Call (805) 893-3535 or visit artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu for tickets and info