When Life Departs (original title: Når livet går sin vej), directed by Stefan Fjeldmark and Karsten Kiilerichis, 1997.
Nominated for a 1999 Oscar for ‘Best Short Film, Animated,’ When Life Departs received the UNICEF Award at the 1998 World Animation Celebration. With simple drawings, the film illustrates the voices of several children expressing thoughts and feelings about death – of a dog, a sibling, and others. The animation was produced at the A. Film A/S in Estonia, with lead animators Ando Tammik and Meelis Arulepp. It was part of the Animation Show of Shows (Box Set 3). added 3/25/17.
Caracol Cruzando, directed by Pamela Maria Chavez, 2018. (preview)
“Anais, a young Costa Rican girl, faces the hardest decision she’s ever had to make: should she sneak her best friend and pet turtle Tiku across the U.S. Miami border, or should she leave him behind? Anais’ relationship to the natural world around guides her through this heart wrenching decision, and the consequences that follow.” Featured on the 2018 PBS Online Film Festival. Visit Pamela Chavez’ website to see full movie: http://pamelachavez.com/caracolcruzando.
Coco, directed by Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich, 2017
In the film Coco, the dog Dante accompanies his boy, Miguel, to the Land of the Dead, where we see him evolve into an Alebrije, Miguel’s spirit animal. Not only can humans and other animals continue together beyond this realm, the purity of animals can help us on our way. The same can be said in this realm as well! Read more about Dante here and here.
Dirge Without Music. Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Animation by Sophie Blackall.
Amanda Palmer reads a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, animated by artist Sophie Blackall, known especially for her illustrated children’s books. Music is by Tom McRae. Millay wrote of the heartache of loss and refusal to accept death, while recognizing nature’s divine beauty and the cycles of life. This film was organized by The Universe in Verse, a project of Maria Popova and The Marginalian, in collaboration with Krista Tippett’s On Being.
They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
Children & Animal Companions: Care, love, and grief in multispecies families, directed by Aron Nor. 2022.
The Eastern European collective, just wondering…, produces provodcative animation that illustrtes aspects of our lives with art and research. In this piece, they explore the relationships between children and their animal companions, with attention to the simplicity and complexities around death and mourning. Read the accompanying essay here.
updated October 14, 2022