Louis Hudson is an award winning animator and director, as well as the co-founder of the underground Dice Productions, who specialise in comedic films and animated shorts. As an important figure on the UK animation scene, his films are screened around the world at numerous prestigious Film Festivals including the London Short Film Festival and the Multivision Short Film Festival in St Petersburg. All Consuming Love (Man in a Cat) is in many ways his magnum opus as a filmmaker, in that it possesses all the stylistic and comedic inventions that have come to define his work: a wry, boyish sense of humour captured in block colour 2-D animation.
Concocting a surreal and darkly comic short centred on a tiny, creepy middle-aged man living inside a cat deserves plaudits for its originality. Bizarre romantic sub plots in the film include this tiny man leering at a woman’s breasts from inside a cat, then unsuccessfully trying to woo her whilst she’s naked in the shower. You see how dark this gets. All Consuming Love’s black comedy works well though: witnessing a gross little man coming out of a cat’s anus isn’t something one sees everyday but it works thanks to the dexterous animation and honest storytelling. The film also joyfully plays on the old single cat lady stereotype.
Dialogue is sparse, as with a lot of the best animation, Hudson and his team let the drawings do the talking, though when the characters do speak the words are down to earth and charming in their simplicity. The voices are provided by talented UK comedians like Kevin Eldon and Josie Long who inject a lot of humanity into their weird little characters. This is a twisted love triangle we’re witnessing, but one told with a lot of heart. The humans (and cats) are all drawn in an interesting, off kilter way with pulsing bug eyes and simple outlines. It fits the narrative well; the drab background shades of beige and greys encapsulating this maudlin romantic mood, offset by an occasional splash of primary colour.
All Consuming Love is a delightfully twisted little short told with a lot of heart. Give in to his dark sense of humour and go with the flow. You wont regret it. And whatever way you look at it, the ending is wildly disturbing.