Vaesen has quickly become one of my favorite animated shorts, and not just because I am partial to the mythical ethos of folkloric tales. The artistic concept alone is dark and enchanting, but the ambient Pink Floyd-esque musical arrangement is really what puts this film on another level. In the creators’ words, Vaesen is:
The story of a young man who can’t face failing his dying father, is burdened with the failure of those who came before him.
A dying king has had a vision
he chooses his eldest son
to journey to a distant island
to collect the blood of a beast..
The blood gives whoever drinks it
The prince sets off on his journey
to the island,
once he arrives at the lair of the beast
he is surprised to find that the beast
is dead. Greif stricken
he returns home. Along the way
he sees a deer and decides to
collect the deer’s blood.
At this moment his father lies in his bed
has a second vision of death,
and stops being,
and begins his journey of not being.
The film’s visuals are based on illustrations from the Golden Age, and for those of you who are particularly interested in the concept and character design of Vaesen, I suggest checking out the developers’ production blog.
Personally, I thought some of the scenes were akin to Topcraft’s 1977 adaptation of “The Hobbit,” albeit more finely polished.
Though I love this film for its creative integrity, upon discovering that this was made by students in Denmark, I was reminded of the talent I’ll never possess. Ah, oh well. Vaesen is imaginative and beautiful – something worth sharing.