But Milk is Important is one of those delightfully immersive short films that manages to tell a lifetime’s worth of stories in just under 10 minutes of exquisitely-made stop motion animation.
Crafted as a graduation project by Anna Mantzaris and Eirik Grønmo Bjørnsen, it is redolent with a deeply felt sense of empathy for what it feels like for anyone with social anxiety to reach out and interact with others.
It can feel like an impossible task and for the protagonist in this film, who shares a fondness for milk that his janitor sadly does not, one he may never be up to handling.
But then one day, just before his birthday, a tenaciously friendly, clumsy anthropomorphic cotton ball with boundary issues which no one else can see suddenly appears, and little by little, despite his protestations that it go away and never return, our protagonist finds his life changing in ways he could never have imagined.
It’s all done with the utmost compassion, insight and understanding, and little to no dialogue, and it has deservedly won a slew of awards from festival as diverse as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Se-Ma-For Film Festival 2013 and the delightfully named Sweaty Eyeballs in Maryland, USA.
But Milk is Important is a joy to watch – as tenderhearted and empathic as it beautifully crafted, a reminder that life holds the most wonderful possibilities, especially when you least expect them or feel able to deal with them.