Hedgehog’s Home (Short) – BFI London Film Festival Review

Hedgehog’s Home is a short, nursery rhymed film, featuring anthromorphic woodland creatures. Through stop-motion animation and puppets consisting of material, the film makers have created a very classic yet cautionary children’s tale.

Hedgehog, despite the honour he has earned, is laughed at by some wooden creatures for the love he has for his home. On visiting his friend Fox, he declines the offer to stay the night and walks home, despite the dangers. Fox believes Hedgehog must live in a castle to love it so and follows him to see it. On the way he encounters an evil Wolf, a greedy Bear, and a wild Bore. All follow to laugh at Hedgehog, but what they get is a Hedgehog who defends his honour and his home from their sneakiness.

A joint production between Canada and Croatia the short is written and directed by Eva Cvijanovic, based on a short story by Brando Copic and narrated for the screen by Kenneth Welsh. The short is told through poetic rhyme and stop-motion animation. Although model puppets are used, gone is the more traditional hardened materials and felt is used.

The short acts as a moral tale. We and the other creatures learn what Hedgehog already knows, which is the value of home. The creature’s interaction and story may be brief but this is a sweet and charming fairy tale.

If Aardman are the masters of Claymation, then these guys are masters of felt. Not only have they made appealing and realistic creatures with the material, they have given them life. With the finest fibres on the material always moving, as if in the wind, the characters feel alive throughout. Details, such as leaves blowing, jumping frogs and flowers blooming are greatly accomplished in this short. The animation far outdoes its narrative but this feels like a great opener for such animated skill.

The narration and mouth movements do not quite match up but this is not something that distracts from the quality of the film. Hedgehog’s Home will appeal to younger audiences who’ll learn to value humbleness and homee over great wealth, in this great message.

Boosting brilliant animation, that surpasses its short form. Yet this is still a classic and charming children animation, Hedgehog’s Home is simple but a joy to watch.

Hedgehog’s Home plays as part of BFI London Film Festival! 

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