Monday, August 31, 2015

#1,841. Feast (2014)

Directed By: Patrick Osborne

Starring: Tommy Snider, Katie Lowes, Ben Bledsoe

Trivia: This movie won both an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 87th Academy Awards, and the Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject at the 42nd Annie Awards

The 2014 Disney short Feast tells the story of a Boston Terrier who eats anything he wants, only to discover there’s more to life than food.

From the time he was a puppy, Winston was given a wide variety of treats by his owner, James (voiced by Tommy Snider). From pizza to nachos, burgers to French fries, Winston had it all… and loved it all. Then, when James meets Kirby (Katie Lowes), a waitress at a health food restaurant, poor Winston’s menu options start to change. All at once, the cookies and fast food are gone, replaced by veggies and other less-tasty morsels. When James and Kirby split, things go back to the way they were, and Winston, who gorges himself on ice cream and cakes, is happy again. But James is not, which forces Winston to make some tough decisions.

That’s the basic premise of Feast, but it isn't until the movie is half over that we realize what’s going on with Winston's owner, James. That’s because the first part of Feast is told exclusively from Winston’s point of view, with James and the other characters pushed to the background. Throughout these scenes, there are hints as to what’s happening around Winston; early on, James is obviously living in a college dorm, so the oft-hungry pup benefits from the steady stream of junk food that typically goes hand-in-hand with that lifestyle. When Winston is first given veggies, he spits them out, and later, as he stares at the unappetizing contents of his bowl, we spot James and Kirby dancing happily in the next room. When Kirby walks out on James (again, we see this only in the background), Winston’s now-despondent owner returns to his unhealthy routine. It isn’t until Winston finds a stray sprig of parsley lying around that James finally enters the forefront (while Winston can’t stand the parsley, James gazes at it longingly, a reminder of the love he’s lost).

Like Winston, we suddenly notice James, and realize that he’s suffering. It’s here that the film takes a sharp turn, transforming from a humorous short into a story with heart. While the opening few sequences of Feast will give you something to laugh about, the second half is sure to bring a tear to your eye.

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