The work of Shaun Tan — The Rabbits, The Arrival, The Lost Thing, The Red Tree and most recently the superb Tales from Outer Suburbia — are brilliant, good-natured yet edgy, quirky and luminous — a bit like Shaun himself.
Full of unique and emotionally truthful images, Shaun’s not-really-for-children children’s books present a world that is thoughtful and humanistic, despite its weirdness. If you spend some time listening to Shaun talking about his art, you quickly come to realise that you’re listening to a real live genius in his field — even though Shaun himself is never pretentious or self-aggrandising.
Now the exciting news comes that Shaun has been working on an animated version of The Lost Thing, which is due for release in 2009. It is produced by Passion Pictures Australia with financing from both Screen Australia and Passion Pictures. At 15 minutes long, The Lost Thing with be created using CGI but with 2D handpainted elements. Shaun will be acting in the capacity of director, designer and writer.
Shaun’s says about the book:
What started out as an amusing nonsensical story soon developed into a fable about all sorts of social concerns, with a rather ambiguous ending. I became quite interested in the idea of a creature or person who really did not come from anywhere, or have an existing relationship to anything, and was ‘just plain lost’. I wanted to tell the story from the point of view of a character that would represent how I might personally respond to this, so the unnamed narrator is essentially me (although I used to collect sea shells at the beach, rather than bottle-tops).
Here is a brief document on the making of the film in which you can see some teasing moments of animation.
- Read more about the book and the film on Shaun’s website.