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.

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The Bible / What works and what doesn’t in the ambitious mini-series

It’s common these days for each new episode of a TV series to begin with a montage that sums up all the relevant plot points from previous episodes. So it was only natural that, when the History Channel aired its five-part mini-series The Bible over the month of March, all but one of the episodes began with narrator Keith David intoning, in his deep baritone voice, “Previously, on The Bible…”

All of the show’s strengths and weaknesses are captured in that one phrase. Produced by Mark Burnett (a TV mogul best known for unscripted “reality” shows like Survivor and The Apprentice) and his wife Roma Downey (who once starred in Touched by an Angel), the mini-series rushes through the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, in ten hours — though it’s more like seven, once you bracket off the commercial breaks — and it zips through the stories so quickly that you barely notice when they are compressed even further in those opening sequences. But the mini-series also makes a point of emphasizing the continuity between Bible stories in a way that is quite rare among Bible films, and in a way that sometimes allows individual stories to shed light profitably on others.

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Adam and Dog and expressions of Grace

If you haven’t seen the Oscar-nominated animated short Adam and Dog yet, you really should. It’s a beautiful, inspired and, in its own way, challenging take on the story of the Garden of Eden, as seen from the limited — but still keenly felt — perspective of the world’s first domesticated canine.

I loved it from the moment it was first posted online two weeks ago, and I saw it again a couple days later, this time on the big screen, where it was screened as part of the touring Oscar Nominated Short Films program.

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The Oscar-nominated story of man’s first best friend

It turns out one of the five nominees for this year’s Oscar for Best Animated Short is a version of the story of Adam and Eve, as told from the point of view of a dog. Adam and Dog actually won the Annie Award for Best Animated Short one year ago — beating such better-known films as Pixar’s La Luna, Disney’s The Ballad of Nessie and Warner’s I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat — but it somehow didn’t get much exposure or qualify for the Oscars until this year. And now that the Academy is casting its final votes, the entire short film has been released online:
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