I didn’t have time to review Spies In Disguise, the animated feature about top agent Lance Sterling (Will Smith) turned into a pigeon by peace-loving inventor Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) – though my 8 year old took time out from important Lego world-building to give it a go.
I’ve been grousing every since though, as not reviewing it meant I couldn’t make use of a particularly good pun.
So when I read about Pigeon: Impossible, the fledgling short that inspired the avian spy caper, it was a racing certainly I’d be chicking it out.
And with my children egging me on, it is with great delight I get to announce that Pigeon: Impossible is… coo-coo-l.
Only six minutes long, the short, written and directed by Lucas Martell over five years, follows the trials and tribulations of suit-clad spy Walter Beckett when a pigeon gets trapped in his gadget-filled briefcase and almost starts World War 3.
Martell has spoken of his love of “spy-fi”: 60s era, James Bond-esque movies stuffed with crazy action. Though like many films over five years old, what used to look like artistic comedic licence now looks increasingly like documentary.
Imagine an avian, animated Dr Strangelove and you’re not far off the mark.
It’s funny – as sharp as Walter’s suit – exciting and truly perilous, as the bungling, bagel-craving bird creates chaos in the streets and in the skies.
Martell and his collaborators spin a tale in only six minutes (they clearly know exactly when brevity should be the soul of wit) that starts with everyday absentmindedness, even hubris.
The stakes then mount inexorably before our hero* hits full “oh my god what have I started” realisation. (*Walter, not the pigeon.)
The final shot is a darkly funny full-stop to a near perfect little drama.
The film came out a decade ago, and you can watch this clever, witty blast from the past (god who writes this stuff? Oh, yes) below.
If you’re into animation, for more on how they made the film check out https://mightycoconut.com/pigeon-impossible/
Watch Pigeon: Impossible now: