As his town is flooded by water, an old man is forced to add additional levels onto his home with bricks (cubes) in order to stay dry. But when he accidentally drops his favorite smoking pipe into the lower levels of his home, his search for the pipe eventually makes him relive scenes from his eventful life.

2009 Academy Awards (Oscar) – Best Short Film, Animated – Winner

Directed by
Kunio Kat


Tsumiki No Ie from lennie small on Vimeo.

Shorty Flicky:

“The world gets flooded and as the water level goes up, the residents of a sleepy village where this elderly man lives must build another level of their houses each time. In his loneliness, he moves on and not complaining. Until one day, his pipe fell down to the lower submerged levels of his house.

He then search for the pipe and as he goes down deeper, he reminisces scenes from his past live. A level where he remembers when he took care of his sickly, devoting wife, a level where he used to raise up his daughter, until eventually the happy times when the earth was still green and beautiful.

La Maison en Petits Cubes is either a cautionary tale of environment, but I’d like to take it as a tale for us to be grateful with what we have right now. Truly, for many people, their past may be the very phase of their glorious times and now live on regretting their inability to be again at that state. But for me it’s a solid advice to move on, cherishing every moment with my family, my current life, and at what I believe most. At the very least, we live to see the happiness of our past and felt content in the end with the result of our efforts.

These Japanese animators created this film with a different technique than their fellow countrymen. It’s more like a colored pencil-made animation and at times might make everyone depressed with its darkly images of this elderly man during his lonely nights. Even so, the animation will definitely bring anyone to immerse with the elderly man’s life and what he reminisces. An Oscar win back in 2008 was indeed deserving.”

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