War Game (film)
|Directed by||Dave Unwin|
|Produced by||Illuminated Films|
|Written by||Michael Foreman (book), Simon Nicholson (screenplay)|
|Music by||Julian Nott|
|Edited by||Taylor Grant|
|Distributed by||First Run Features|
War Game is a 2001 animated short film made by the British animation company Illuminated Films, and based on the Michael Foreman novel of the same name. The film included many of the same scenes listed in the book, although four new characters were created.
In the short, the boys (Will, Freddie, Billy, and Lacey), are out playing a game of football when they hear about England declaring war on Germany. As in All Quiet on the Western Front, the boys waste no time in enlisting in the army (at this point the singing Kitchener springs from his poster to tell Will that he should 'play the game'). Later that night, Will and Lacey tell their parents and Annie of the great news. While Dad wishes them well, and Annie is sobbing for Lacey, Mum (voiced by Kate Winslet) tells her boys that war is not a game, and that they will be killed. But regardless, the boys leave for France, where they encounter hardships of the trenches, shooting competitions with the Germans, and bully beef.
On Christmas Day, a German soldier walks onto the battleground and invites the English soldiers to a football match. However, the match is broken up by the commanding officers, and the soldiers return to their trenches. That evening the soldiers go over the top and are cut down by artillery and machine gun fire. Lacey, Freddy, and Billy are killed instantaneously. Will is severely wounded, and lies in a shell crater with a German soldier. They exchange photos from home before both men die of their wounds.
The DVD cover has the dedication: "In memory of my uncles who died in the Great War. William James Forman, killed aged 18, Frederick Benjamin Foreman, killed aged 20, William Henry Goddard, killed aged 20, Lacey Christmas Goddard, died of wounds Christmas Day 1918, aged 24."
The film has won numerous awards including the Children's Choice Award at the British Animation Awards, Best Television Special at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the International Student Jury Award at the Banff International Television Festival, Best Production of the Year at the Cartoons on the Bay Festival in Italy and 1st prize at the Cinemagic Festival in Belfast.
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