As kids, I think we’d all admit to being embarrassed by our parents at one time or another. In Torill Kove’s animated short film “Me and My Moulton,” a seven-year old girl struggles with the notion that her family is unconventional and different and she’s quite bothered by it. She’s envious of the family living downstairs because she views them as normal. The father is clean shaven. Her dad has a moustache – the only man in a town of 10,000 people with one. And this makes her stomach hurt.
The little girl and her two sisters long for a traditional bicycle like the one the children downstairs have. They ask their parents for one and are told that a bike has been ordered for them from England. When it arrives, it is a moulton; a folding bike with small wheels and a tall seat and handlebars. “Our parents have bought the bike they wanted,” the little girl remarks. It can be taken apart to fit inside the truck of a car, her parents proclaim proudly. But they don’t have a car. They don’t drive. Despite their initial dismay at seeing the unique bicycle, the three sisters climb on their moulton and take it for a ride. Though not on the bike they had in mind, they’re happy.
Kove’s story is a charming one to which almost every viewer can relate. The childhood fear of being viewed as different and that desire to belong is a familiar one. Kove infuses the tale with a sweet sensibility and subtle humour. The simple and bright animation works well to showcase the story, which is the heart of the film.
Screens (as part of Short Cuts Canada Programme 6):
Thursday, September 11, 6:15 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Friday, September 12, 2:45 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Ticket information can be found at the TIFF website.