Wylie Writes @ TIFF KIDS 2014: The Numberlys


By: Addison Wylie

William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg return to TIFF Kids.  This time, they’re not here to make me blubber like a baby (see: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore).  The filmmakers are here to make me laugh and impress me with wit.

Based on an iTunes app also called The Numberlys, the short film features five employees who are fed up with creating the same boring numbers at their factory job.  One night after work, the builders stay behind to create a new hybrid series of symbols – the alphabet.

The Numberlys has been produced with a black-and-white template to represent how drab the conformity is.  The film is also presented in a very slim aspect ratio.  This either is supposed to represent how shallow their existence is, or to recreate the feel of playing an app.  Either way, people are going to like the look, or detest it.

Joyce and Oldenburg think of great ways to create letters using tools or happy accidents (falling on numbers and denting them, blowing them up with classic cartoon bombs).  The short is very creative and will make you laugh with the mime routines.

I half expected the screen to open up when the final spectacle is revealed, but the filmmakers kept up with the tight presentation until the end.  However, one missed opportunity in an 11-minute short featuring non-stop humour and freshness is still a terrific ratio.  This is another awesome hit for William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg!

Catch The Numberlys as part of TIFF Kids’ Loot Bag Junior: Brave New Worlds at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox on:

Sunday, April 13 at 12:15 p.m.

Friday, April 18 at 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 19 at 12:30 p.m.

Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

Visit the official TIFF Kids International Film Festival webpage here!

Visit the official TIFF webpage here!

Other TIFF Kids Coverage:

Read my review of Knight Rusty here!

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

Readers Comments (2)

  1. Great job by * ALL of MOONBOT Studios *.

  2. When you say: “The film is also presented in a very slim aspect ratio…people are going to like the look, or detest it.” you got that right! Vertical Video Syndrome vs. Vertical Video as Art is a raging controversy. I’m on the Art side (Alicewinks). Can’t wait to see this “film!”


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