The Lost Thing, an animated short film based on a picture book by Shaun Tan, has been nominated for an Oscar. I’m going to be honest with you, readers: I haven’t actually read the book, but if it’s half as good as his other books like Tales From Outer Suburbia or The Arrival (which was on YALSA’s 2008 list of Great Graphic Novels!), I’m prepared to give it an unseen thumbs-up. His delicate images, combinations of pencil, watercolor, and collage, are sublimely beautiful, and his reality-with-a-twist stories will stay with you long after you put down his books. The Lost Thing, about a bottle-top collector who discovers a strange creature looking for its proper place, looks like it captures Tan’s style perfectly in animated form.
It doesn’t look like you can watch the short itself anywhere online, but you can see a clip of it here. The official site for the short also has a trailer. Take a look, and don’t forget to watch the Oscars on February 27th to see if it wins!
â€“Ted Anderson, already reserving a copy of The Lost Thing at his local library
UPDATE: The Lost Thing won Best Animated Short! Congratulations to Shaun Tan and co-director Andrew Ruhemann!
I’ve also dug up a few more relevant links: the official Oscar site has a short video about all the nominees, the State Library of Victoria has an interactive display of the book (though the interface is a little clunky), and the Melbourne-based vodcast Inframe had a cool interview with Tan a few years back.