In directors Jonathan Becker and Anthony Pitsilos’ short film, Hermie, an ocean scientist, Henry (Mike Schminke), is nervously rehearsing his speech in a hotel restroom. Then Henry’s pet hermit crab from childhood, Hermie (Ron E. Rains), appears mysteriously from the restroom plumbing. Unfortunately, the hermit crab has dire news. Hermie’s natural habitat is being destroyed to build some beachfront development, so the pet has an important ask of Henry.
“Hermie’s natural habitat is being destroyed to build some beachfront development…”
Hermie, written by Becker, Pitsilos, Ian Battaglia, and based on a short story by Nathaniel Rich, is about as simple and efficient as you can get with a short film. It takes place inside a hotel restroom, and the filmmakers navigate the angles masterfully. Yet, the spotlight of Hermie is the animated crab, and the little guy is impressive. I’m still guessing whether the character is stop-motion animation or if he’s completely computer generated. Suffice it to say, Hermie looks great, and the voice acting from Rains wonderfully brings him to life.
Running at 11 minutes, Hermie gets in and quickly hits on themes that can apply to almost any crisis, the environment in this case. Henry is the guy who would rather talk about the problem than do something about it, which leads to an interesting, even heartbreaking, ending. Take heed: if you’re going to make me think deeply about myself, then make it fun. That pretty much sums up this comedic outing.
"…Hermie looks great..."