KIDS FIRST! Film Festival/Hawaiʻi

MATTERS OF THE HEART (10 films•Varied Age Groups)

Expired February 22, 2022 9:45 AM
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10 films • 1h42m •Varied Age Groups

From the US, UK, Canada, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, and Iran; a Valentine to silly, sweet, deep, and unconditional LOVE. 

Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was a little girl who fell in love with a beautiful horse named Aurora. Expressively animated in a naive drawing style that evokes children’s drawings and the texture of storybook illustrations, Aurora is a bittersweet story about love, friendship, and growing up.

Juror comments: Aurora is a powerful short animated film that tackles the bittersweet ache of growing up and maturing. Growing up happens so quickly and, despite how quickly it goes by, the memories of childhood stick with you for the long haul. For Jojo the idea of making a new friend is alarming. In such a short time the film manages to deliver the message that growing old doesn't mean growing apart, and making new friends doesn't mean replacing the old ones.

The storyline follows a young girl named Jojo who befriends a horse named Aurora. When Aurora is given away, Jojo's heartbreaks. As time passes the young girl learns to cope with the ache of growing up and missing a friend.

The premise of this story is one that anyone can able to relate to – a simple story about a young girl and her horse translates to anyone's personal story about their missing loved one. Everything starts so vibrantly colored. However, in one scene everything is different. When consoled by her family, everything is gray except Jojo’s hair bows and her heart. The one distinct portion of the costuming is the set of bows at the end of her hair. These accentuate Jojo's vibrancy and youth. The simple set compliments the story. The set comprises green grass and apple trees.

The music heavily impacts the way we feel about the scenes. During a sad moment, the octave is taken down and we experience that sadness along with Jojo. Bravo to Jo Meuris herself for an outstanding story and lovable narration. The crisp art style makes this animation perfect for the big screen.

The message of this film is: growing up doesn't mean forgetting your childhood; you grow from your experiences. As an adult, Jojo closes her eyes and goes back to a place with old friends. It is there that we see Aurora once again.

I give Aurora 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 14, plus adults. Reviewed by Stephanie O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Jo Meuris
  • Screenwriter
    Jo Meuris
  • Producer
    Jo Meuris