Bubbles is a lonely sea otter searching for friends in the animated I Am Pebble. The French short opens with Bubbles swimming along the banks of a river. She spots three large mossy stones and imagines them as real sea otters. She playfully swims around them for fun, and as one sinks into the deep, she remembers they are just stones and that she is still alone.
“…spots three large mossy stones and imagines them as real sea otters.”
As a fan of animation, I’m quite used to the tradition of characters outlined by thin black lines, and afterward, color and shading are applied. I Am Pebble removes the black line, and characters are formed solely by color and texture against a rich background of nature in the forest and water. The soft edges give the short a beauty that works perfectly with its animal subjects and their fluidity of motion.
Now let’s add the keen sense of emotion the six writers/directors (Mélanie Berteraut-Platon, Yasmine Bresson, Léo Coulombier, Nicolas Grondin, Maxime Le Chapelain, Louise Massé) have in conveying Bubble’s loneliness and the sadness that comes with isolation. The story has no dialogue, and Bubble’s emotion is masterfully portrayed in her eyes and body language. I admire stories like I Am Pebble that are told without words. But, as always, more can be said when it is not said but seen.
"…more can be said when it is not said but seen."