Anomaly: O'Human Being
When you come to think about it, Christmas must be the biggest massacre annual event; the selective culling of Christmas trees. Twisted as a festive wreath, Anomaly's third Christmas film, 'O'Human Being,' tells the tale of Christmas if the shoe was on the other branch.
Each year, on average, the UK is responsible for the deaths of up to 8m Christmas trees, who are literally uprooted from their neat little homes, to stand outside their natural habitat for the 12 days of Christmas.
To make matters worse, they are decorated, against their will, with gaudy decorations, that involves ramming a fairy's bottom atop their head. Once their 12-day sentence is up, the trees ultimately end up on the cold street outside, waiting for the removal man to put them out their misery.
Narrated by Richard E. Grant, 'O'Human Being' is a retake on Prince Albert's Christmas tradition.
The animated film, which was created by Unreasonable Studios, opens with an ominously ambiguous address from a bodiless voice: "Dearest Sarah. If you are reading this, I am dead."
It then goes on to detail the protagonist's sinister abduction by a family of four, who chop his feet off with an axe, before tieing him up and transporting him to their living room.
Although his natural instinct is to make a dash for it, our captive finds he is unable to move, for his feet-less legs have been planted into a pot.
Desperate to return home to his family and his beloved wife, Peter - the human Christmas tree - devises a plan of escape, which the trees repeatedly thwart.
As the days pass, Peter begins to lose hope. His letters home to his wife, Sarah, register his increasingly bewildered mental state: "I'm left only contemplating the blunt absurdity of this life. All is lost, all is fucked."
The alternative Christmas card chronicles of Peter’s existential journey through his hostage, mutilation and systematic torture, and sees him finally escape by 'playing dead' on the side of the street, before being picked up by a waste removal truck, with the other 'stiffs'.
As the credits roll, an eerie version of 'O'Christmas Tree' plays, sung by a ghostly choir of children: "O'Human Being, O'Human Being, how lovely are thy fingers. O'Human Being, O'Human Being, how lovely is thy flesh?"
The agony, hope, despair and acceptance that Peter endures, ultimately delivers a profound Christmas message for children everywhere: Christmas trees are for life, not just for Christmas.
Narrated by: Richard E. Grant
Written, directed, animated & produced by Anomaly & Unreasonable Studios
Written by: Craig Ainsley, Ben Robinson, Mike Whiteside
Directed by: Ben White, Craig Ainsley, Ben Robinson, Mike Whiteside
Animated by: Ben White, João Pereira, Guillaume Le Roux, Emrah Onal, Chris Hilton, Kirstin Smith
Produced by: Soraya Phipps
Animation Producer: Dani Sierra
Illustrated by: Sharm Murugiah, Debut Art
Personal Assistant to Mr Rodger Federer: Oli Beale
Head of Body Disposal: Nicky Russell
Typography by: Kerry Roper
Composition by: Ashley Bates, Adelphoi
Sound Design by: Mike Bovill, 750mph