Cadaver (2012) review

CADAVER is part of the 2012 Sarasota Film Festival’s Animated Shorts screening program: SHORTS 6: ANIMATED STORIES.

CADAVER is indeed a bittersweet little tale about a young, first-year medical student whose first stab at dissecting an elderly man’s corpse and removing his heart inexplicably brings the dead body back to life. But this is not a horror story. No! It is instead a clever little fable about love, devotion, and the heart’s ability to rebound.

The cadaver wants nothing more than to see his dearly beloved wife just once more before officially shuffling off this mortal coil. He convinces the girl to sneak him out of the morgue and drive him cross country to his house so that he can say a final goodbye. The two have a series of amusing adventures on their journey, and the girl comes to some new realizations. But once they finally arrive at the old man’s home he gets a lot more than he bargained for, discovering “a truth in death that he didn’t know in life.”

Jonah D. Ansell’s clever 7-minute 2D animated film features the voices of Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates, along with narration by 15-year-old Tavi Gevinson, who also performs a moving rendition of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” on the soundtrack (watch the film’s trailer with her lovely performance HERE).

On the movie website Ansell states that the idea for CADAVER began, “as a short, whimsical poem that I wrote to my kid sister the day she cut open her first dead body as a med student at Chicago’s Northwestern University. I never intended to make the poem into a movie. I simply sought to lighten her mood and mitigate her understandable fears on what was then the biggest day of her life on her path to becoming a doctor.”

Ansell continues, “CADAVER isn’t a poem. CADAVER is a battle…of romantic versus cynic. Of how love inspires, versus how love exploits. CADAVER is the net sum of my thirty battered years of falling into and out of love. Of having my heart crushed. Or discovering I was crushing someone else’s.”

As one of the outstanding shorts on tap at the Sarasota Film Festival this year, I can highly recommend this charming little movie, and would really love to see it as a full feature film someday.


2 Responses to Cadaver (2012) review

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think that even I could like this.


    • Debbie says:

      You definitely would have enjoyed it, despite the deadly subject matter. 😀 It was quite amusing and I was impressed with the unusual animation style, so different from what we are used to seeing. I do hope they raise the funds to expand CADAVER into a feature film.

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