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Western Animation / Me and My Moulton

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Me and My Moulton is a 2014 animated short film (14 minutes) directed by Torill Kove. It was co-produced by Norway's Mikrofilm and the National Film Board of Canada.

The short is told from the POV of a 7-year-old girl, the middle of three sisters, the youngest being five and the oldest being nine. The narrator remembers her childhood in Norway, and her unusual parents. Her mom and dad are both hippie architects, and have designed all the furniture in their house, which is decidedly unconventional. The narrator explains that her father is the only man in the entire village with a mustache, and he's nearly blind in one eye, and her parents insist on ordering a bicycle from England instead of just getting one at the local store. The girl comes to be vaguely embarrassed by her dad.


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Tropes:

  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: The narrator is embarrassed by her hippie parents. Her dad doesn't do army reserve training because of his bad eyesight. Her dad is literally the only man in town with a mustache. Her mom designs weird clothes for the kids which she makes herself. The furniture in their apartment is weird enough that when other kids visit they say "You live here?".
  • An Aesop: Be Careful What You Wish For and don't judge your parents too harshly. The narrator is jealous of her friend's family and in particular her friend's far more conventional dad. But she gains some perspective when her friend's parents split up and the dad moves away.
  • Character Narrator: An adult woman recalling her childhood.
  • Coordinated Clothes: The three sisters wear shirts that say 1,2,3 in descending order of age. Sort of necessary since there are no names given and no dialogue and all three kids have the same Limited Animation face.
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  • Creative Closing Credits: The film opens with someone unrolling a blueprint that has the credits on it, including "By Torill Kove". It ends with the blueprint being rolled up.
  • Eat the Dog: The narrator says that her neighbors' dog was named after Fridtjof Nansen's dog, and that on his polar expedition Nansen ate all his dogs except that one. This is accompanied by a scene where a cartoon Nansen plucks a dog collar out of his soup.
  • Imagine Spot
    • The narrator said that her grandma told the sisters to always neatly fold their clothes when they went to bed, because otherwise, if there were a fire they'd have to jump out the windows naked. This is accompanied by animation of them doing just that.
    • The narrator's father was rejected for military service for poor vision, but says he'd defend the home if the Russians ever attack. This plays out in a scene where the Red Army bursts into the house, and the dad points a gun at them, only to hesitate and close his eyes. The mom then takes the gun and drives away the commies.
  • Limited Animation: Simple animation with simple drawings, lacking in detail.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Ends with the three sisters riding off on their shared bike, just like they'd talked about.
  • Painting the Medium: The narrator has a thought bubble in which she thinks about the three of them riding together on a bike. When her parents demur, she reaches up with a pin and pops her own thought bubble.
  • Rule of Three: Three sisters, each separated by two years in age.
  • Running Gag: People toppling over while sitting in the weird three-legged chairs designed by the mom and dad.
  • The Stinger: The credits are followed by a final shot in which the mom is yelling at the sisters to put on helmets.
  • Thick-Line Animation: Animation done in thick lines in accordance with the simple, Limited Animation style.
  • Vehicle Title: "Moulton" refers to a real brand of English bicycles.
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