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Young Film Critics review First Light films

Cat in the Box (Lizzie's review)

Cat in the Box is a playful amalgamation of genres, mischievously mixing sci-fi with comedy, laughs with melodrama, and animation with live action. Focusing in on the life of a maverick painter who lives alone with her cat Millie, we witness the sudden chaos a mysterious package brings to her life.   

Our first, blurred glimpse of Cat in the Box is of a painter’s palette and glass jars of water, which, though beautifully captured, are quickly left behind to introduce us to the main character, the female painter, who is shown in crystal-clear frames. Her cat, Millie, bounds onscreen, and, in typical animated tongue-in-cheek-style, haughtily demands her dinner.    

The subsequent events are crazily spontaneous, and on the eccentric side, but the beauty of this short piece comes partly from its eclectic texture. The special effects -first and foremost the animated Millie, but also a glittering time portal- are also lively and entertaining. The cat’s personality comes across by means of a wonderfully disdainful voice-over. Special mention should also go to the fact that the teenagers who made this film have managed to integrate the animation and special effects seamlessly into a live action movie, and, when you’re dealing with a cat, and its movements, this is no mean feat. Well done to everyone involved!

Review by Lizzie Daniels

Watch the full film and the other nominees on the First Light website.