Blue and Malone: Impossible Cases is a Spanish short film that boasts technical achievements with its exuberant mixture of reality and animation, offering 18 pleasurable minutes of entertainment. The follow up to the 2014 short film Blue & Malone: Impossible Detectives did better than the latter since it won the Goya award (the Spanish equivalent of American Oscars) for best animated short film.
Shot with distinction, the film written and directed by Abraham López Guerrero, places its focus on Berta (Aura Garrido), a journalist who takes a little time of her busy day to say goodbye to a dear old theater with strong ties to her childhood. This now abandoned theater is going to be demolished next day. Concurrently with her sadness, Berta is persistently nagged by a tyrannical boss (voice by Jorge Sanz), whose aggressive speech on the phone makes her feel the pressures of adulthood. But the remaining quiet minutes in the theater seem precious as she prepares to leave a happy part of her life behind. Well-shot flashbacks let the viewers know what memories she keeps from that time.
Surprisingly, she won’t be alone in her efforts because the tiny Mortando Malone (voice by Alex O’Dogherty) and the gigantic Blue Cat (voice by José Luis García Pérez), two imaginary detectives and heroes of her childhood, show up for moral support and offer their services as solvers of impossible cases. The former, a perpetual bubble maker wearing a detective hat, trench coat and stiff tie, triggers a kinetic moment of optimism at the sound of a Latin-jazz groove; while the latter, despite making a ferocious entrance, reveals to be very submissive and tight-lipped. They naturally disclose concerns about stopping to exist.
This is mainly a visually alluring experience, where the scenarios – often composed of complex mechanical-induced apparatus and beautifully lit reality/animation hybridity – are a delight to look at. The story has emotional meaning too, being presented with sad and encouraging tones alike. Another strong aspect is the original music by Miguel Malla, whose “Canción de Cuna para Gabriel y Nicolás” provides the perfect atmosphere for the particular moment it plays with its cool-jazz, standard-like vibe à-la Harry Connick Jr. The singer, Coque Malle, is the composer’s brother.
Cutely rambunctious and bitingly nostalgic, Blue and Malone: Impossible Cases deserves both exposure and recognition.
Director: Abraham López Guerrero
Writer: Abraham López Guerrero
Stars: José Luis García Pérez, Aura Garrido, Olivia López Marcos
Runtime: 18 mins