Goldfish Image


By Alan Ng | October 9, 2020

I get it. When I was a kid, I didn’t want to do homework, and most of my free time was spent drawing my life away. Now, my own kid is following in my footsteps. Maryam Farahzadi’s Goldfish tells me I’m not the only one.

Goldfish is an animated short about a little girl who loves to draw pictures of animals, food, boats…anything. Soon, her mother scolds the little girl to finish her schoolwork, and soon, she is lulled into a state of boredom.

The girl is then distracted by her goldfish in its fishbowl, jumping in and out of the water. Finding inspiration by the fish’s desire for freedom, the little girl begins to draw and draw and draw. It all ends abruptly when her mother catches the young dreamer and takes away her art supplies. Immediately, the color from her pictures on the wall fades into grey.

“Finding inspiration by the fish’s desire for freedom, the little girl begins to draw and draw and draw.”

Goldfish tells a story that contrasts living our repetitious everyday life with a world of dreams, imagination, and potential.

Farahzadi’s medium is 2D-computer animation. While each character is essentially cutout body parts brought to life by the animation software, she incorporates squash-and-stretch principles to exaggerate action and emotional expression.

Farahzadi is not only an animator but an artist as well. Great effort is made to make each scene and character look like a painted children’s book. I particularly love the textured backgrounds, as just the right balance of detail is included in each scene.

What is most impressive is the character design, mainly the goldfish. For something as simple as a small pet, Farahzadi gives it personality in oh so subtle ways to avoid presenting a generic fish.

At just under five minutes, Goldfish is a beautiful animated short about pursuing and finding inspiration in one’s dream.

Goldfish (2020)

Directed and Written: Maryam Farahzadi

Starring: Maryam Farahzadi, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Goldfish Image

"…not only an animator but an artist as well."

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