DVD review – The Lost Thing (2010), Region 4, Madman

The Lost ThingAustralian author and illustrator Shaun Tan makes his directorial debut (along with co-director Andrew Ruhemann) with this animated short adapted from Tan’s acclaimed picture book. Narrated by musician/comedian Tim Minchin, The Lost Thing is about a boy who discovers a creature on the beach that nobody else seems to notice. Encased in a giant mechanical dome with tentacles sprouting from the various hatches, the creature is like a steam-punk version of a benevolent sea monster.

The Lost Thing has a beautiful melancholic charm that evokes the work of writer Neil Gaiman and filmmaker Tim Burton. Tan has previously worked as a conceptual artist on computer animated films Horton Hears a Who! and WALL·E, and his experience creating unique and immersive landscapes is evident in The Lost Thing. It is a sad and bureaucratic world, not too distant from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, where a population lost in their daily routine don’t notice the presence of an extraordinary creature that needs looking after.

The DVD includes deleted scenes, a documentary on Tan and production information making it essential viewing for animation fans.

Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 368, 2010

© Thomas Caldwell, 2010

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3 Responses to DVD review – The Lost Thing (2010), Region 4, Madman

  1. Harper Lane says:

    Agreed, but felt Minchin’s narration was off the mark. I understand the need for a little disassociation or the narration being somewhat emotionally disengaged to complement the central ideas, but this was monotonous and really detracted from the amazing and moving animation for me.

  2. 5plitreel says:

    Ooh inspired by Burton and Gilliam, intrigued!

  3. Louise says:

    My favourite film of the year. Achingly, sweetly beautiful.

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