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...Is It the Design on the Wrapper? is a 1997 short film (7 minutes) written and directed by Tessa Sheridan.

A little girl of about six is wandering around, unescorted, in an open-air marketplace. A rather aggressive woman comes up to her and offers her some chewing gum. As it turns out, the woman is a marketing researcher. When the little girl says she doesn't want the gum, the researcher starts peppering her aggressively with questions as to why she doesn't want the gum, including "Is it the design on the wrapper?" Finally, the researcher gets more than she bargained for when the little girl lets forth with a torrent of words.


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Tropes:

  • all lowercase letters: The film's title is formatted this way on the poster.
  • Credits Gag: The researcher keeps checking off boxes as the little girl answers "No" to all her questions. At the end the credit "Directed by Tessa Sheridan" appears, and a check box is checked off.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: A short interview between a researcher and a little girl in a park.
  • Framing Device: The little girl tells the story to the camera. It's in these framing device sequences that we see the disturbing details about her life—how she nearly falls out the open rear door of a truck, how her parents scream at each other at home.
  • Nameless Narrative: No names given.
  • No Fourth Wall: In the framing device, the little girl addresses the camera directly, telling her story.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Ends with the little girl walking away from the market.
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  • Parental Neglect: The little girl isn't well looked after. She wandered down to the marketplace by herself. When she's finally retrieved, she rides home in the back of a truck's cab—and the back wall of the cab falls open, leaving stuff to fall out while the girl clings to the truck for her life. Then when she gets to her run-down home, she's left alone while her parents scream at each other.
  • Questioning Title?: Is it the design on the wrapper?
  • Title Drop: One of the questions that the marketer asks the little girl as to why she doesn't want the gum is, "Is it the design on the wrapper?"
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