Mr. Night Has a Day Off
Unsatisfied, Mr. Night is walking around the town changing all things to black until everything is dark as night.
Today’s film is the 2016 short animated comedy Mr Night Has A Day Off written and directed and animated by talented Lithuanian animator Ignas Meilunas. It is currently being featured on in the 2017 Winter film festival by Fandependent films.
Mr. Night Has A Day Off is a interesting little tale they tells the story of Mr. Night, the night sky hanging around on earth while it is daylight. Mr. Night soon becomes bored and sad that everything is white and bright and starts causing havoc around town in a good natured way by turning everything he encounters black as night. He soon grows tired of just painting the town (And various inanimate objects and one dog) black and soars up into the sky and forces night upon the bustling city. As the credits roll Mr. Day sails down to earth and slowly begins to fix everything Mr. Night has changed with a wink at the camera and thus the cycle of night and day continues uninterrupted.
I have to say when I first saw this film in the lists I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. It is a very interesting blending of animation and live action that hearkens back to the days of films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Cool World but unlike those two films features absolutely no dialog at all and is completely driven by the silent protagonist Mr. Night. The animated character is simplistic yet has such a expressive stick drawing face that you can’t help but get the mindset of the character clearly and know that he means no harm. There is something boyish about this swirling blob of starry night sky that really endears the character to the viewer in a rather meaningful way. It is very clear that Ignas Meilunas has quite the talent when it comes to animating that he is able to deliver such a charming and funny performance from his little blobbish characters without any dialog cluttering up the narrative. Though the integration of animated characters into live action has been done before I don’t think I’ve seen an instance done by a independent film that had such a small budget deliver it in such a natural way, yes it is not as sophisticated as the films I mentioned earlier but you can really feel the passion that this talented young man from Vilnius brings to his work. The story is playful and at the same times speaks to life choices that each of us must make specifically when something bores you in your life simply reach out and change it. In this way Mr. Night Has A Day Off is a profound message for a generation thinking itself stuck in a rut and what is more it doesn’t try to hammer it home like a bludgeon but instead offers it up gently with laughter which in my opinion makes it all the more impactful.
The production value of Mr Night Has a Day Off is quite good especially considering it was done on a very micro budget and filmed and animated in just twenty one days for the Nuits en Or 2016′ festival summer festival in Lithuania. The Animation is cleverly drawn so that it interacts with the real world in a very adept way and uses small little flashes of light to signal when the character is touching something. The cinematography of the film is rather impressive with it’s crystal clear picture and steady rigged system that allows for no wobbling or shaky cam effects. This is very important when doing animation because the smallest flaw can ruin what you are trying to do and really speaks volumes to the dedication of Ciobreliai production company out of Vilnius. The scenes are all shot from different angles to allow for Mr. Night to extend his arms into narrow openings or to grow in size to change larger objects like cars to black and is delivered in a very convincing way that tells a complete story and never once jars you from the experience.
The audio work of the film is just as good as the video work. While there is no dialog the sound effects of the various objects being transformed are clear and audible and simply add to the humor of the situation and was worked brilliantly by Kipras Dominus the sound coordinator of the film. The real star of the audio department though is the jaunty and upbeat little tempo that is played throughout the entire length of the film and actually sounds like something found in elevator lobbies in large mall chain stores. It absolutely sets the tone for the film and just when you hear it you’ll already get a small grin on your face. The only time it stops is in the brief after credit scene when the man who’s car was transformed comes out and clicks his key fob to disarm the alarm, this sudden deadpan moment is utterly welcome and really just makes the film end on a very jolly note.
When all is said and done Mr Night Has a Day Off is a fun little short animated family film that will defiantly give you a giggle or two. I have to say if this is the sort of work that Ignas Meilunas and the production company of Ciobreliai is capable of I am really looking forward to seeing bigger projects from both of them. If you are in a bad mood and want something to cheer you up this charming little film is just up your alley and really shows you that you can work with next to nothing, just some skill in hand to make something complete and very watchable.
Be sure to check out Mr Night Has a Day Off on Fandependent Films.