My memories of this short film, to be completely honest, are somewhat fleetingly and disconcertingly vague. So this review is partly based on memory and flashes of the short that refreshed my memory. What I do remember though is that it was a truly magical piece of work. Shown on the UK's Channel 4 during my childhood in what was probably one of the many animation fests that they have now and then.
Hedgehog is a wonderful mixture of what seems to be stop-motion mixed with the sensibilities of shadow puppetry with other elements throw in. In animation respects it is very similar to a few British productions Iíve seen, like noggin the Nog, or Captain Pugwash. Like those two, there is something about Hedgehog that somehow transverses the limitations of the slider-style animation and ends up a reverse of your expectations: although in Hedgehogís case this is even more so.
The world and its characters come to life, yet here subtleness is the master; here lie gentle movements that are the best antidote to Hollywoodís vulgar bold films, were action comes first. Here the pace is slower, the narrative poetic and the world like a beautiful dream. Haunting scenes stir the mind, the narration steers itís spirit; and a sensitive story about a little hedgehog wondering about a horse in the fog and the poor thing's frightened journey through said fog.
Some people often talk about possible symbolism in this film, which is understandable when you consider when and where this film was made, talks of what the fog is, big brother, concealment; what the horse stands for, truth or hope. In all honesty I personally donít go looking for hidden messages in animation, I just hope to enjoy the ride.
And who really needs to look at something so amazing in that way anyhow? When itís far more satisfactorily to watch it as a piece of art. One of the true wonders of what a animated piece can be.