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Harvie Krumpet

God is better than football...

Harvie Krumpet is a fun little film from down under, a film that took a lot of people by surprise last year at the Academy Awards. Smart money was on Destino, if only to see that Roy Disney might say. But little Harvie won out; hurrah for the little film from Oz.


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Harvie- Harvek Milos Krumpetzki- was born to an insane mother and laborer father in Poland in the early 1920's. Life only get's worse from there. But Harvie always finds a way through, and a way to win. After his parent's untimely death, Harvie makes his way to the land down under. There, Harvie has more brushes with meritocracy, always on the loosing end, it seems.

Along the way, Harvie collects his "fakts." He meets and marries the nurse Val, and they adopt an armless child, Ruby. Vla dies much too young (in a scene reminiscent of Hitchcock), and Ruby moves to the States to make her fortune... leaving Harvie alone at the Prickley Springs old folks home. However much of a downer this might sound like, it does not play that way. A comedy, bittersweet to be sure, the story is quite charming, because Harvie's heart seems to always be in the right place. Harvie is content with his life, and ultimately at peace with himself.

The film was written, directed and animated by Adam Elliot- sometime (like Harvie) in the nude. Shot over 14 months, the film was made in a barn on his parent's property. For a comparatively low budget- $300,000- the film has a high quality to it. the color palette is very subdued through the whole film... at times verging on monochromatic. The only exception really is the apt-named Ruby. The film is wonderfully narrated by Geoffrey Rush.

The DVD also contains 4 of Adam's previous works, all stop motion. All are fun to look at, and none run longer than 8 minutes. There is also a short behind-the scenes video that compares the original storyboard to the final film, with Elliot's comments. The main film also has a director commentary. That and some character model shots round out the DVD.

For what it is, the DVD is very nice, albeit a bit too short; Adam Elliot just has not done enough work to really warrant a full DVD release yet, despite the fact he won an Oscar for this film. What he has done is very good, there is just not enough of it. Yet.

On my scale of avoid, rent or buy, this is a renter- definitely worth seeing.


A Review by Dave Koch
First Published on November 17, 2004

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