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The Follies of H. Dwiggins

The Follies of H. Dwiggins

Directed by Jaime Ld Schell  |  Review by Triptayan Chatterjee

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] sweet and aristocratic name Dwiggins, an ostrich. A peace of civilization with its dreamy history and a great global introduction of the status of the human being with an allegory of an ostrich have made the animation film The Follies of H. Dwiggins Ostrich a successful one. As the theme of the film is a deep-rooted message for the world, likewise the illustration and animation have gone at par with it. Under the cover of a fairy tale, a big message of the second South African War and it’s a contemporary society concerning the modern civilization is uniquely painted in the film. All these artistic aspects of the film are more enriched by the whole hearten creation of the sound, voice acting, and music. Animation has the ability to be comparable to the modern other modes of films with a deep-rooted message. That is the real success of the creator Jaime LB Schell.

Ostrich is considered as substandard in birds’ kingdom. But it has such a capability which can show the strength of real life. The history of the Second South African War, along with the dream of creating a British Ostrich Empire by Major General Cyril Ostrich, may sound funny at first. But within this dreams the catastrophe in a modern civilization echo. Moreover, a close attraction to humanity is wonderfully painted in the allegory of the nature of H. Dwiggins Ostrich. Being directed by his grandfather Cyril, when he plans to visit South Africa, he, for the first time faces the common problems people face. The realization he gets that it is better to stay and live in his own comfort than to dominate others for getting more and more in life.

The backbone of an animation film is its basic illustration. From the very beginning of the story the illustration is very clear and straightforward. Keeping cinematic shots in mind carefully the illustrations are created and the animation of the entire film appropriately runs around the theme of this illustration. Particularly the incidents of long chatting and exchange of views between H. Dwiggins Ostrich and Geoffrey IV looks like a med shot. The most important feature of this animation film is not only the mere joining of good illustration, rather its flavor of cinematic shots in each part of the film.

The voice acting of William V representing the Major General of the erstwhile virtual kingdom of Ostrich is wonderful. His commanding voice sounds like an aged army man which syncs perfectly with the character. The voice acting of James Muffett and David George brings another dimension to the film. Added to it the classical sound playing in the background of the first scene tells us to go back at the classical English period, where the Ostrich dreamt of their kingdom in time of Second South African War. The sound designing of the film is very attractive and artistic.

A few numbers of symbolic illustration and its animation increases its artistic value. We generally find film language particularly in feature films, fictions. But in animation, it is rarely seen. In the stairs made of clothes in Geoffrey IVs’ estate brings its symbolic significance. This part of the film language indicates that to go up in life is far from an easy task. A wise decision is to stay alive in your environment.

Along with it, the scene of frequent snaps taken by a gang of the Ostrich proves that peoples have lost the heritage of the hallmark civilization in the massive spread of modern technology. The Ostrich which was once wanted to rule the world is now the obsolete species of bird in the eyes of the people. Civilization changes itself as the time moves on as well as when time turns back.


Triptayan is a filmmaker looking for a different horizon. Earlier a journalist Triptayan has done intensive research on film language and made different documentaries so far. He is now concentrating upon feature film in a vast landscape. Professionally a teacher, Triptayan has also passion for making films threaded with the international and universal thoughts.

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