Adam and Dog director hints at his next projects

One of the more delightful discoveries this year for me, movie-wise, was the animated short film Adam and Dog.

Produced in 2011 and nominated for an Oscar earlier this year, the film re-imagined the story of Creation and the Fall from a unique perspective — that of the first dog — and had a wonderfully understated, naturalistic style.

Director Minkyu Lee, who made the film independently while working as a storyboard artist at Disney, also gave a number of really interesting interviews in which he talked about the artistic, scientific and religious ideas that inspired his film.

In the end, Lee didn’t win the Oscar — they gave it to Disney’s Paperman instead — but it sounds like all the attention this year has spurred him on to bigger and better things.

Last week, the New York Times included him in a profile of five “rising animators”, and the paper noted that Lee recently quit his day job at Disney so that he could start shopping other projects around, “including an animated TV series, a live-action feature and a graphic novel.”

Along the way, Lee reveals that Adam and Dog actually marked the first time he had ever animated a quadruped, and that he counts filmmakers like Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard and Terrence Malick among his influences.

He also notes that Adam and Dog was apparently too subtle for some audience members: “You’d be surprised at how many people don’t get that it’s the Adam and Eve story. I’ll ask them: ‘So what did you think the story was about? A naked man frolicking around the forest with a dog?’”

Here’s hoping Lee goes on to find success with his other projects.

And for those who haven’t seen Adam and Dog itself yet, here it is. Enjoy!

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).