Shot with a single cartridge of super8, for the Straight8 competition, Earth to Earth is a wonderfully simple little film that works incredibly well. At just under four minutes, the story is played out in a documentary style, with an old man recounting his treasured allotment, and his gift for growing a rather special product. The “reveal” is delightful, and beautifully animated, but remains underplayed, so that the film feels warm and friendly, rather than surreal.
The narrator is perfectly cast, while the jolly music whisks the narrative along. The short time the film has is used efficiently, nothing felt flabby, and the jokes come thick and fast. The inclusion of the Japanese chaps is hilarious, and a welcome change of pace.
While there is still room for the film to include a more downbeat moment, lamenting people’s fear of what they don’t understand, the film doesn’t allow you to linger, instead pushing forward to a charming and witty conclusion. Earth to Earth is a simple, warm little film with a very clean and clear purpose, it doesn’t venture out on flights of fancy, as the subject matter might imply, but this is actually a good thing. The film has a down to earth quality about it, and is refreshingly restrained with the- dare I say it- “wacky” premise.