“A Story From Space” Reaches for the Stars

The history of American space exploration is filled with drama. This charming short squashes the complexities of the first journey to the moon into a bite-sized tale, exactly the kind a parent would tell a child at bedtime, as the astronaut dad in this film tells his daughter back on earth. It captures much of the drama of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, with none of the tragedy.

"A Story From Space" still image
An astronaut dad tells his earth-bound daughter a tale, in A Story From Space

Directors Joseph Childs and Iro Tsavala change animation styles during the film, switching from more detailed present-day setting to a simpler style of illustration for a storybook flashback, which adds a fairytale quality to this adventure about early space exploration. They also utilize real audio samples from NASA space missions for some technological verisimilitude.

"A Story From Space" directors
Directors Joseph Childs & Iro Tsavala

The style leverages deceptive simplicity of illustration as shorthand for deeper emotional and psychological concepts — exactly what great animation is for. By doing so they prove you don’t need a huge effects budget to generate feelings like awe and wonder.

The work is a moving celebration of the power of science to take us where where our imagination dares us to go. And the film’s post-credits ending is perfect.

Be sure to see this lovely film, which is quite appropriate for our venue, the Chabot Space & Science Center, shown as part of the BAICFF 2020 program Shorts All Ages: Program 1.