“The Cat Piano” is a poem written by Eddie White, and this is a 7:00 2D animated short film to accompany Nick Cave’s narration of the poem. The idea of a cat piano, or Katzenklavier, is thankfully, pure fiction as it involves a hypothetical musical instrument which consists of a line of cats fixed in place with their tails stretched out underneath a keyboard so that they cry out when a key is pressed that drives a nail into their tails. As gruesome and cruel the concept of the films namesake, the film itself is actually extremely entertaining and incredibly well done. The design and animation is unique and hard to categorize, it almost feels like a blend of anime and Disney, Cave’s voiceover is slinky and mysterious, and the story is compact with absolutely nothing missing.
Sometimes animated shorts when they want to be dark can become very very dark,. (ala The Brother Quay) This film lives in a world of perpetual night without feeling actually dreary, a little bit like Baz Luhrman’s version of Moulon Rouge.