History can seem so distant and elusive. But there are many books, and if someone took the time to retell events that defined the course of humanity, the narratives that arise must be completely aligned with the truth. At least, that’s the way it seems. So as a public service of sorts, Scott Graham gives us pause to question what we know in a short film entitled Trojan Horace. The filmmaker’s animated take on the famous story of the Trojan Horse – who says his comedic farce isn’t exactly the way it happened. Probably not, but six minutes of amusement reveals that it’s better to question, rather than just accepting what they want us to think.
Entering the countryside to the chirping birds and the sedateness of Greek life, we get even less urgency as a military commander snoozes the day away. At the same time, the sentiment conveyed from the quaint animation by Graham screams a major upgrade over the modern convenience of being connected 24 hours a day to every single person on Earth.
Of course, no age is free from the travails of connectivity, and the inciting incident doesn’t make it seem so far-fetched in the manner that the urgency arrives. A message attached to a rock rustles the commander from his sleep, and the soldier quickly understands that he has an appointment with history.
Now, Hollywood has gotten so good at bringing us the past that we’re certain Russell Crowe had a direct line to the ghost of Maximus to deliver his lines. Sorry, Trojan Horace makes no attempt to be so all knowing or pretentious.
Courtesy of the voice talents of Glen McCready and Eli Harris, “blah, blah, blah” amounts to the only dialogue, and the inflections help provide the tone of the comedy/drama. There are also plenty of grunts, groans and sighs to clue us in, and the animation pretty much tells us what we need to know anyway.
Either way, the intrepid soldiers take up the cause. They are a diligent lot, and in intricately piecing the wooden equestrian together, we realize that this vehicle didn’t come as standard as history has taught us. There’s a steering system that had to be all the rage Before the Common Era – an elevator lift into the cockpit, and a sound system that carries commands to the belly of the wooden beast.
Why not? These were the Greeks. They built all sorts of amazing stuff, and as the accompanying sound effects help convey the visual functionality, we are reminded that these ancients meant business. Alongside the workman, the Fico Jessen score methodically plods and reinforces the attention to detail that the mission requires.
But the presentation has no intention of letting the viewer get too carried away. The historical figures are still quirky cartoon characters, and their eclectic nature is meant to temper the tall, heroic tales we like to comfort ourselves with.
Nonetheless the battle is joined, and like any military operation, plans go awry. So more of the same dynamic carries the film through, but the events and the sight gags don’t necessarily put many LOL’s on the menu. No problem, the overall delivery amuses, and makes the point that once the present passes, the truth is up in the air.