USA, 3 min
Directed by: Dony Permedi
When you've only got three minutes to tell a story, you'd better make it count. Pixar Studios has always excelled at such an efficient brand of storytelling: Geri's Game (1997) is a masterpiece in four minutes, and For the Birds (2000) and Lifted (2006) have always been crowd- pleasing favourites. Kiwi! (2006) is a student film by Dony Permedi, and it was produced in much the same mould. The short certainly looks like a student film, the CG animation terribly crude by modern standards (though, admittedly, it's unfair to compare any animated film to the standards of Pixar). However, the technical detail doesn't necessarily matter, as long as it succeeds in telling an emotionally-absorbing story. This it does pretty well. An ambitious little kiwi, long confined to the earth by his measly ratite wings, fulfills his lifelong ambition to fly – or, at least, to approximate the sensation of flight. The moment of success is oddly touching, and the single tear that slips from beneath his eyelid would be familiar to anybody who's ever achieved his lifelong dream. Still, I didn't find Kiwi! quite as life-affirming as many viewers seem to have – for me, it was an amusing little aside, and certainly not a bad way to spend three minutes of my time.