The Firefly Man

Todd Fjelsted shows us once again a psychologically disturbing animation film that explores an empathetic, tragic situation expressed in poetic visuals in “The Firefly Man.”

“Firefly” is about a man who loses his young boy and wife to a killer bear. He collects fireflies in a jar to attempt to capture the soulful light from his wife and child, thus create a living memory. In sleep he’s haunted with nightmares of their tragic deaths where a burly bear literally tears their bodies apart with gruesome effect.

Fjelsted effectively creates a beautiful emotional affect with light and shadows in the woods and the glow of the fireflies. He then jolts the viewer from this dreamlike scene to a horrifying moment. However, it is apparent that the storyline and imagination of the director are the strong points of the film.

The animation utilizes shadow and light in a professional manner that emulates live action films; however, the animated characters are roughly created. Their jolting and uneven movements are reminiscent of the puppet effect created in “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” (1970), which doesn’t prove to be an intentional thematic vehicle. In fact, this portion of the short gives the animation an amateur appearance.


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