The short and the short of it: The touching wonder of Louis’ Shoes

(image courtesy First Showing)

Louis, 8-and-a-half years old, is autistic. He arrives at his new school and is about to introduce himself. Louis’ Shoes, originally known as Les Chaussures de Louis in French, is co-directed by a selection of talented animation filmmakers: Marion Philippe, Kayu Leung, Theo Jamin, Jean Geraud Blanc – students at Ecole MoPA (official website), an animation school located in Arles, France that focuses solely on teaching “Cinéma Film d’Animation 3D”. This short project was created as the final Graduation Animation Film for these four filmmakers at MoPA. Featuring an original score by Lolita Del Pino. (synopsis courtesy First Showing)

What a beautiful, beautiful short film.

Opening an illuminating and much-needed window on what life is like for those with autism, Louis’ Shoes insightfully and with great tenderness and empathy, takes us into the world of one autistic boy who simply wants people to understand he is different and that there is nothing wrong with that.

His is less a militant plea, in fact, it’s not that at all, and more a quiet cry for understanding, delivered when he is being introduced to his new classmates, and explains, among other things, why he takes off his shoes and places to the right of his desk in the classroom.

Sporting the memorable and heartwarming line – “Molds are fine but only for making waffles” – Louis’s Shoes is a gorgeously delivered reminder that we should simply take everyone on face value and never expect to fit into pre-ordained places in which they simply won’t fit.

The animation is luminously wonderful, the sentiment heartfelt but weighty, and Louis, who lays his life bare in his short speech to his class, an act of bravery which has the most surprising but uplifting of results, is one protagonist you will never forget with a lesson you should always remember.

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