Watch Kids' Reviews of
SNAIL AND HEDGEHOG

What to know: One of the most inventive films I have seen in some time.
SNAIL AND HEDGEHOG is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
13 minutes
VIDEO
ISAMU HIRABAYASHI
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SNAIL AND HEDGEHOG cover image
Snail and Hedgehog is one of the inventive films I have seen in some time! I like how it addresses contemporary issues such as web chatting, A.I., personal issues, and friendships between strangers. The result is something extraordinary and very exciting.

The storyline follows two 15-year-old girls, Mimi and Akari, who meet and interact via an web chat and discover that they have a lot common -- being the same age and gender, and are both in the process of studying for high school examinations. Their discussions also evolve into family and personal issues such as divorce and disease. Their A.I. connection consists of transforming a drawing into characters in order to play out adventures. Mimi's picture is of a snail and Akari's picture is a hedgehog.

I enjoyed how these two girls find out that they have numerous things in common right off the bat and are able to aide each other, for personal and familiar concerns, in the brief amount of time they are in the A.I. Metaverse. The animation is very creative - the A.I. web chat has an animated comic-book appeal, complete with partitioning the scenes. Plus the bright color scheme adds to this effect. Additionally, I enjoyed how a new A.I. adventure coincides with a brand new topic of discussion for the girls, i.e. one states that she doesn't understand a particular adventure and the discussion turns into how she feels her class artwork is just as messed-up. I like the design of the Snail and Hedgehog characters, which are simple and cute. The backgrounds are definitely critical to the story as they correlate to the A.I. adventures and conversational tone between characters. The music score also correlates to their adventures and their discussion, which is non-narrative, delivered in comic-book-style bubbles. For example, the music score of a dramatic A.I. adventure game set in the medieval period appears to be intense, like the scene and corresponding conversation. Akari and Mimi are disguised through the Snail and Hedgehog characters throughout most of the film. The director, Isamu Hiraboyashi, definitely has a gift of ingenuity and creativity that makes this short film stand out. The animator and music scorer deserve kudos for creativity and aligning user subject matter and adventure imagery. My favorite part is how Mimi and Akari surprisingly reveal themselves at the end. I also like Akari's advice for Mimi to do what SHE wants in life, regardless of Mimi's parents wanting her to go into the civil service.

The message of the film is: one never knows when a distant stranger can lend a helping hand in life. There are some scenes of violence, although the blood does not look gory or real. It could be disturbing for younger children.

I give Snail and Hedgehog 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Kimberly M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!

Snail and Hedgehog is one of the inventive films I have seen in some time! I like how it addresses contemporary issues such as web chatting, A.I., personal issues, and friendships between strangers. The result is something extraordinary and very exciting.

The storyline follows two 15-year-old girls, Mimi and Akari, who meet and interact via an web chat and discover that they have a lot common -- being the same age and gender, and are both in the process of studying for high school examinations. Their discussions also evolve into family and personal issues such as divorce and disease. Their A.I. connection consists of transforming a drawing into characters in order to play out adventures. Mimi's picture is of a snail and Akari's picture is a hedgehog.

I enjoyed how these two girls find out that they have numerous things in common right off the bat and are able to aide each other, for personal and familiar concerns, in the brief amount of time they are in the A.I. Metaverse. The animation is very creative - the A.I. web chat has an animated comic-book appeal, complete with partitioning the scenes. Plus the bright color scheme adds to this effect. Additionally, I enjoyed how a new A.I. adventure coincides with a brand new topic of discussion for the girls, i.e. one states that she doesn't understand a particular adventure and the discussion turns into how she feels her class artwork is just as messed-up. I like the design of the Snail and Hedgehog characters, which are simple and cute. The backgrounds are definitely critical to the story as they correlate to the A.I. adventures and conversational tone between characters. The music score also correlates to their adventures and their discussion, which is non-narrative, delivered in comic-book-style bubbles. For example, the music score of a dramatic A.I. adventure game set in the medieval period appears to be intense, like the scene and corresponding conversation. Akari and Mimi are disguised through the Snail and Hedgehog characters throughout most of the film. The director, Isamu Hiraboyashi, definitely has a gift of ingenuity and creativity that makes this short film stand out. The animator and music scorer deserve kudos for creativity and aligning user subject matter and adventure imagery. My favorite part is how Mimi and Akari surprisingly reveal themselves at the end. I also like Akari's advice for Mimi to do what SHE wants in life, regardless of Mimi's parents wanting her to go into the civil service.

The message of the film is: one never knows when a distant stranger can lend a helping hand in life. There are some scenes of violence, although the blood does not look gory or real. It could be disturbing for younger children.

I give Snail and Hedgehog 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. Reviewed by Kimberly M. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST!

Mimi (15) and Akari (15) are users of the latest web chat. This web chat uses artificial intelligence to analyze pictures drawn by users and turn those pictures into characters. Mimi draws a snail while Akari draws a hedgehog. The two meet and talk through the web chat for the first time. Because they have just met and are communicating without seeing each other's faces, they are able to talk to each other about their problems. Akari has family problems while Mimi has problems related to illness.
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