In this Oscar®-winning short film, Norman McLaren employs the principles normally used to put drawings or puppets into motion to animate live actors. The story is a parable about two people who come to blows over the possession of a flower.
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A whimsical stop-motion style and pastel palette at first provide a wholesome veneer to an anti-war allegory with some real teeth. The themes of the trivial nature of violence and the need for solidarity is all the more prescient given the decade(s) that followed.
War is Certain without Peace, Peace is Certain without War, love your neighbours in any language, and this is some neat trippy animated shit. It's a basic slapstick comedy with predictable results but mad inventiveness and a few real surprises. Good for a laugh and pretty much there for the whole family (though once again, the action subverts the theme of peacefulness considering how entertaining the violence is).
Grey Daisies beat me to posting a link to this video. If you haven't seen this video yet, you're missing out on the beauty of Norman McLaren's pixilation masterpiece! Pure madness and joy of creating cinema in only 8 minutes!
Though comical and cheap as it may seem, Neighbours is a dark reflection about the greed of man and the irrationality of using bloodshed to solve problems. A personal reflection of the Korean War and the Vietnam War that was soon to come. It's one of those films that shows the world entirely, involving two neighbors who resort to violence, fighting each other to the death over the ownership of this one tiny flower.