Small Films 17: Terra Incognita

Terra Incognita

A Weekly Short Film Review

Our lengthiest addition to the “Small Films” collection is the most mind-bending we have ever featured. Terra Incognita, directed by Adrian Dexter and Pernille Kjaer. A forgotten island inhabited by immortal beings in this animated psychedelic animated sci-fi short film. The fable starts with the Earth’s origins and chronicles the impact of discovering the island by the outside world on the immortals in five chapters.    

In this animated film that resembles the works of René Laloux with creatures and mushrooms straight from Hayao Miyazaki’s imagination, we see how this strange island mirrors our history as humanity. They deal with colonialists introducing a new religion, the industrialization of modern society taking away, and pollution. They either weaponize or reuse any of these foreign objects. That’s due to outliving all the colonizers and gatherers of the outside world. It’s a brilliant piece of art. 

Adrian Dexter is a director, background artist, and illustrator who’s done some pretty cool stuff, from album covers to other short animated films. Pernille Kjaer is an artist, animator, and director who has made several animated films and other works from prints, paintings, and sculptures. Terra Incognita is a synergy between both artist’s abilities and sensibilities. It’s the result of two gifted individuals working together. 

You can watch the entire film here below. Enjoy the trip, and check out the other films on their Vimeo channels.

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