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WATCH: Walk on the Wild Side with Alison Snowden & David Fine’s ‘Animal Behaviour’

Oscar-shortlisted animated short film from the Academy Award-winning duo behind ‘Bob’s Birthday’ available to watch online through January 12.

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Alison Snowden and David Fine (2018). All images courtesy of the NFB.

In Animal Behaviour, the latest animated short film from Alison Snowden and David Fine, the Oscar-winning team behind Bob’s Birthday, five animals meet regularly to discuss their personal struggles in a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist.

Available now to watch online through January 12, the comical yet moving short -- which was recently shortlisted for a nomination at the 91st Academy Awards -- presents a menagerie of animals with issues and anxieties not so different from our own. The group includes Lorraine, a leech who suffers from separation anxiety; Cheryl, a praying mantis who can’t seem to keep a man; Todd, a pig with an eating disorder; Jeffrey, a bird with guilt issues; and Linda, an obsessive-compulsive cat. But this week’s session proves to be a challenge for the group when they’re joined by a reluctant new member: Victor, an ape with anger-management issues. As Victor navigates his first session, learning about each group member’s issues and the techniques employed to manage them, he resists the therapy process, upsetting the group dynamic and ultimately giving in to his own animal nature.

Created with digital hand-drawn 2D animation, the 14-minute Animal Behaviour marks the return of the Vancouver-based duo to the NFB 25 years after they produced Bob’s Birthday, which inspired the acclaimed Comedy Central/Channel 4/Global TV series Bob and Margaret. Snowden and Fine previously collaborated on two other Oscar-nominated films: the NFB short George and Rosemary (1987) and Snowden’s student film, Second Class Mail (1984). The prolific pair also created the animated TV series Ricky Sprocket, Showbiz Boy and co-created Aardman’s epic stop-motion series, Shaun the Sheep with Richard Starzak.

Produced by Michael Fukushima at the National Film Board of Canada, Animal Behaviour had its world premiere at last year’s Annecy Festival. The short film was also selected to screen in competition at a number of other international festivals, including Edinburgh, Toronto and Vancouver, picking up awards at Anima Mundi, Cinéfest Sudbury, and the Los Angeles Animation Festival.

Watch Animal Behaviour through January 12 in the player below:

Want more? Revisit AWN’s interview with the filmmakers from Annecy 2018: Walk on the Wild Side: Alison Snowden & David Fine Talk ‘Animal Behaviour’.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.