Jumping Joan ★★★½

This is so gorgeously created that I want to love it, but I have no idea what it was about.

Painstakingly drawn with something looking like oil pastels, the animated short feels a bit like an impressionist homage to Alice in Wonderland, with plenty of new elements introduced for creative measure. I interpreted it as a bored girl who's on a quest for magic and adventure and fantasy in the mundane world around her. But I have no idea. It's certainly a bit dark and foreboding, but mixed with wonder and light and a sense of exploration.

It's also a bit weird when score suddenly starts 5 minutes into a 7 minute short, but I think it supported the story... I think. Otherwise, the sound design is mostly very minimal, adding either a soothing quality or a haunting quality or maybe somehow both. It's really well done.

The hand-drawn animation work is wonderful, and I'm interested to learn the director's process and what exact medium she is using. I really love the visual textures and overall style. It instantly creates a fuzzy dream world appearance, with almost Matrix-style afterimages appearing after every slight motion. I think that's an effect they left intentionally noticeable, to give the impression that time operates slower/differently under the rules of this world.

But I don't know! So I'd definitely recommend everyone reading this to give it quick watch, develop their own interpretation, and most of all, enjoy the fantastic animation style for themselves. It's a magical little movie.