Short of the Day
When the figments of a child’s imagination aren’t imaginary.
I’m not much of a fantasy fan, but even I was beguiled by this selection for Short of the Day, Goblin Queen, written and directed by Reed Shusterman. Think of it like a darker Narnia movie but from the perspective of a parent stuck here in the real world. That’s the situation in which Winona (Stacey Mosley, The Muppets, Swan’s Crossing) finds herself when her daughter Amber Lynn (Amy Letcher, Black Sails) is revealed to be the ruler of a magical land in another dimension. Amber Lynn keeps leaping back and forth between realms, and as you might expect, while making one of these transitions home, she’s followed by a most-inhospitable goblin.
Goblin Queen is concise and direct, it knows exactly what it is and what we expect from it and starts delivering as promptly as a good narrative allows. The performances are measured and even and reflect the balance between reality and fantasy the story depicts, and the fight sequences – choreographed by Jan Bryand and Dan Speaker, who worked on Spielberg’s Hook and Peter Weir’s Master & Commander – are particularly dazzling.
To-date this short has been selected for showcase at 10 film festivals; get just a minute into it and you’ll see why: Goblin Queen is well-told, well-realized, rich with imagination, and a master of its own particular magic. You don’t have to be a fantasy fan to enjoy it, you just have to like good films.