Summa Shorts: “The House of Small Cubes”

A couple weeks ago, I recommended Barbara Bakos’ charming “Lady with Long Hair.” If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, give it a look. …because the shared animation genetics between “Lady” and Kunio Kato’s Oscar-winning short from 2008, “The House of Small Cubes,” are really cool to see. (And also, really intentional on Bakos’ part, who mentioned Kato’s film as one of her greatest influences):

As his town is flooded by water, an aged widower is forced to add additional levels onto his home in order to stay dry. But when he accidentally drops his favorite smoking pipe into the lower submerged levels of his home, his search for the pipe eventually makes him relive scenes from his eventful life

Again, a bit melancholy, yet also sweetly nostalgic. Again, the softness and charming unpredictability of the hand-drawn style. Again, the subtlety. The way Kato shows us the couch’s demise was one of my favorite bits. And the tree sequence, which felt very Up-ish to me. Plus, the metaphorical suggestion of building one’s dearest memories upon those memories that have come before is really wonderful. A great image.

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.


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