Sad, dark, beautiful
“In the middle of some sort of wasteland stands an imposing, featureless building that rises forever into the sky. The building holds a nightly attraction, a freak show that draws crowds from all over the region on a nightly basis. One creature comes every night but not just to marvel at the grotesque freaks but rather to watch Jojo, an enchantingly beautiful creature that rides the high wire. However his longing does not go unnoticed – not a problem when it comes to the lonely Jojo but more an issue for the jealous and spiteful owner.
From the very start of this film I was taken by the sheer beauty and yet pure Gothic horror of the animation. Others reviewers have commented on how it looks unoriginal and perhaps even copied from somewhere else but such things are a nonsense – this creation has taken some imagination (inspired or otherwise) and it looks fantastic throughout the entire short. The use of lighting or, more importantly, darkness is great and the atmosphere is superbly presented. With almost no dialogue, it is not just the wider animation that the director gets right, it is the characterisation which also works a lot better than you think it should and I was surprised by how much I was into it and how affected I was by what is ultimately a very dark and bittersweet tale.
The use of music is well selected as well – setting an emotional scene without making it feel like the music is falsely drawing the emotions from you. It is a hard thing to describe and I’m sure the success and good reviews have meant that some have come away feeling disappointed with it but for me I was taken from the opening frames and was engaged and touched by its dark beauty right to the very end. Well worth seeing – ideally on the big screen like I was fortunate enough to have been able to.” (Jojo in the Stars)