Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#1,773. Even Pigeons Go to Heaven (2007)

Directed By: Samuel Tourneux

Writers: Karine Binaux, Olivier Gilbert, Samuel Tourneux

Trivia: Won the 2007 Junior Jury Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival

After picking up a radio signal from an unknown source, a Priest races to the house of the elderly Mister Moulin, arriving just in time to save his life (Mister Moulin was trying to retrieve a sock filled with money from the top shelf of a very tall bookcase when he slipped and fell. Luckily, the Priest was able to catch him before he hit the ground). Using his near-death experience as a jumping-off point, the Priest attempts to chisel Mister Moulin out of his life savings by selling him the XV-750, a state-of-the-art one-man vessel that’s guaranteed to shuttle him safely to the Pearly Gates of Heaven (it seems Mister Moulin is something of a miser, and, according to the Priest, has a long list of sins. In short, if he doesn’t purchase the XV-750, he’ll surely end up in hell). After giving the old man a “free demonstration” of what the XV-750 can do, Mister Moulin agrees to buy it, but the transaction is interrupted by a knock at the door…

Nominated for Best Animated Short in 2008 (alongside the excellent Madame Tutli-Putli, though the winner was Peter & The Wolf), Even Pigeons Go To Heaven is a computer animated comedy that delivers the laughs (during the demonstration of the XV-750, Mister Moulin fully believes he’s visiting the Stairway to Heaven, though some quick shots of what the Priest is doing outside the ship reveal that it’s all a hoax). In addition, there’s a clever twist at the end that, along with explaining things a bit better (answering the question: where did the radio signal the Priest intercepted originate from?), delivers a satisfying conclusion.

Delving into it further may reveal a message or two, including how organized religion has made a practice of exploiting people’s fears in order to make a profit, though, ultimately, I think the creative minds behind Even Pigeons Go To Heaven had but a single goal: to put a smile on our faces. And on that level, it’s a rousing success.

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