Old Fangs is a short animated movie produced by Cartoon Saloon in 2009 that, however, belongs in our Forgotten Memories collection as it never quite got the fame it deserves.
Adrien Merigeau‘s short, around 20-minutes long, placed second in the Generator +16 category of the 2010 Giffoni Film Festival.
Old Fangs – Plot
A young wolf decides to face his father whom he hasn’t seen since he was very young.
The protagonist of this short story is a young little city wolf who, together with his friends, decides to embark on a journey to look for his father, Old Fangs, from whom he separated when he was still just a pup.
His quest will find him on a path made of memories. He’ll relive days of happiness, but also other darker days, both caused by his estranged parent.
One of the main themes of this short is that of abandonment, seen from two different points of view. The young wolf feels a great sense of abandonment from his father who, by staying in the forest, could never fulfil his role as a parent as he should have. It is obvious that our protagonist feels this absence very strongly, to the point where he tries to seek this figure from which he has been estranged for a long time.
His journey will bring him to a forest that seems to get darker and gloomier the nearer he gets to Old Fangs’ residence. Everything becomes rougher, wilder, as if warning the adventurer about the wolf cooped up in his house.
On the other hand, there’s also the fact that Old Fangs himself feels like he has been abandoned by his wife but also by his young pup. He sees this estrangement as a betrayal, refusing to admit his responsibility and that it was his actions getting more and more feral to cause his family to leave him behind.
That’s why the old wolf turns his solitude into a deep sense of rejection toward civilised society as a whole and even toward his own pup. It gets to the point where, even when trying to rebuild the relationship, he ends up humiliating and wounding the young wolf and rejects him once more.
As we already mentioned, the young wolf embarks on a journey to find his father. The forest thus comes to represent the long journey toward an environment that is far from civilisation and deep into nature, a beastly nature that reflects the protagonist’s father. The latter, quite obviously, does not know how to relate to his son in a peaceful manner and ends up coming across as aggressive.
But the journey is also a trek into the past of the protagonist and his relationship with the father figure. Starting from that house in the forest, passing through the days spent playing with his father, up to the moment when he was confronted with his father’s cruel side.
And finally, the journey is also Old Fangs’ himself, starting as an affectionate father and later becoming the resentful and raging beast he has turned into. The slow descent into his beastly side, the wounds that turned, against his own will, into hate.
Old Fangs can therefore be described as a work full of meanings that drives us to look inside ourselves, trying not to lose what we most cherish because of pride or, on the contrary, to the understanding that we might have to face a time when we have to let go of someone who can do nothing but hurt our well-being. Even when this choice is far from easy.