John Canemaker‘s 2005 Academy Award-winning animated short The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation is finally out on DVD. While Cartoon Brew readers are no doubt familiar with Canemaker’s tremendous body of work as an animation historian, his career as an independent animator is equally substantial, with his most impressive work being this deeply affecting 28-1/2 minute portrait of his Italian-American immigrant father and the troubled relationship he had growing up with him.
The DVD is a great self-contained lesson in filmmaking. It comes packed with a 16-minute documentary about the making of the film, the entire first rough cut which Canemaker narrated himself before John Turturro came on board, and two image galleries containing the storyboards and concept artwork. The rough cut in particular is revealing and shows how Canemaker expanded the dialogue and added to the ending, which both made the film more impactful. The storyboards in the image gallery are a wonderful addition, but I often found myself wanting to see the storyboards in greater detail since DVDs aren’t an ideal format for presenting still artwork. The DVD is available is on Amazon for $30.