Having been startled out of his daily routine by the arrival of an “unreasonable” circle, Archibald decides to follow it to the end of the world, and finds love.
That’s (roughly) the plot of Childhood of a Circle, a strange but beautiful new short from French designer and animator François Grumelin-Sohn, also known as Kadavre Exquis.
Not your average production
The music was composed by Grumelin-Sohn himself, and has quickly spiralled into a project in its own right. The ‘soundtrack’ album, available on Bandcamp, is almost ten times longer than the short itself.
“I started designing the backgrounds, and then I had the feeling I would need music to help [in its] creation,” says Grumelin-Sohn, who describes the creation process of Childhood of a Circle as something of a nightmare. “Composing actually provided my pauses between animation and compositing.”
The end result is simultaneously soothing and slightly disturbing. Thanks to the voiceover, provided by Australian arist Julian Smith, it resembles nothing so much as a kids’ TV series going very gently off the rails.
We particularly like the way that strange little details are left unexplained, like the fact that Archibald, though apparently a cross between a penguin and a polar bear, actually lives in a forest with a herd of mushrooms.