Monday, September 16, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—The Scarecrow (2013) ***

NR, 4 min.
Directors: Brandon Oldenburg, Limbert Fabian
Narration: Fiona Apple (performing the song “Pure Imagination”)

“The Scarecrow” is a little bit of message advertizing from Chipotle about modern farming practices of genetically modified foods. I can assume from this angle that Chipotle only uses truly organic foods in their restaurants. I don’t really want to get into that argument, however. I want to look at the short film as a work of art and entertainment.

“The Scarecrow” tells the tale of a world where the scarecrows, the protectors of foods from predators such as crows, have become the employees of the crows, who have hijacked the food world with a processed factory mentality. The scarecrow has been subjugated to protect the crows’ interests, and it is the public who suffers, but they accept it because they don’t know any better. That is until one day when the scarecrow goes back to the farm and decides to grow his own food and offer an alternative to the prepackaged homogenous food alterations we’ve become used to.

The movie is animated and accompanied by a video game app that offers an adventure style game in which you can navigate the scarecrow through this world factory farming. It’s a good little movie that tells its story with humor and dramatic weight. It might be a little heavy on the message end, but it’s skillfully made and can be enjoyed even if you don’t agree with its message. Fiona Apple sings “Pure Imagination” from the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” made popular by Gene Wilder in his performance as Wonka. I don’t think Chipotle will be changing the world with this film, but perhaps they can at least make a dent in their little corner of the fast food world.

Watch the short in its entirety below.

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