Take Rabbit

****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Take Rabbit
"We all know the riddle solution, so Peake is inviting us to guess what will happen in the interim, which we don't."

Animator Peter Peake is interested in the spiky end of relationships, the squeeze the toothpaste in the middle and leave the top off moments of life that lead to divorce, as in his Oscar-nominated short Humdrum, where shadow puppet pals squabbled over a game, his pre-school satire animated duo Pib and Pog (see them on Vimeo) or the dysfunctional marriage of Out Of Joint. In his latest, which is competing for the McLaren Animation Award (in New British Animation 1) at EIFF, he takes the centuries old riddle of how to get a fox, a rabbit and a cabbage across the river and overlays it with some very modern difficulties.

The fur is likely to fly if fox (Matt Berry) and rabbit (Amelia Bullmore) are left together, but not because he's a predator, it's just that since their relationship broke down they can't stand the sight of one another. The man (Steve Pemberton) who is rowing them is a taciturn sort, unlike his four-legged cargo, not to mention the unexpectedly garrulous cabbage (Steven Graham).

Copy picture

This is animation for adults and best enjoyed without knowing too much rather than explained by me, not least because Peake knows how to spin a story. He has a good ear for the absurdities of modern life and despite the river at the heart of this tale, a bone dry sense of humour, as evidenced by the name of the man's boat.

He also has a fine sense of timing, the river crossing providing him with a rhythm over which to spin out the jokes. We all know the riddle solution, so Peake is inviting us to guess what will happen in the interim, which we don't. The animation is unfussy. The animals have a pleasing symmetry, the existential angst of the man reflected in his slight ungainliness by comparison, while the simplicity allows the focus to remain on the humour. A journey with unexpected destinations.

Reviewed on: 11 Jun 2018
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Take Rabbit packshot
A man tries to transport a fox, rabbit and cabbage across a river without getting into trouble.

Director: Peter Peake

Writer: Peter Peake

Starring: Matt Berry, Amelia Bullmore, Stephen Graham, Steve Pemberton

Year: 2018

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: UK

Festivals:

EIFF 2018

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