The Missing Key (2011) 30min · Animation, Short, Drama · 13 June 2011
In a gloriously imagined 1920s world inhabited by people who have gramophones for heads, young composer Hero Wasabi has left Japan to study musical composition in Venice, accompanied by his oboe-playing cat Jacuzzi. Hero is a student of the terrifying Madame Zero at the Scuola di Musica, where his fellow students include the aristocratic Count Telefino, an unscrupulous telephone-head who is planning a campaign of dirty tricks to help him win the school's graduation prize, the Abacus Scroll. As Hero struggles to compose his graduation piece, Count Telefino employs the villainous Morso Codo to steal the music and destroy the instruments of potential rivals, but he doesn't bother with Hero Wasabi, thinking him no competition. Shortly before the Abacus Scroll concert, Count Telefino hears Hero's latest piece and realizes he must be dealt with. Morso Codo breaks into Hero's studio, steals his music and breaks his piano. Despondent at the loss of his score, Hero decides to return to Japan without competing for the Abacus Cup. As Count Telefino goes on stage to play his bombastic composition complete with choir and triangle-playing elephant, Hero and Jacuzzi trudge to the docks. There, Hero experiences a vision from his home which gives him the heart to go on. He and Jacuzzi race to the concert hall and are just in time to play, preventing Count Telefino being declared the winner. Hero's simple piano and oboe piece deeply affects the audience. Hero wins the Abacus Scroll, triumphing over the furious Count Telefino. - Written by Jonathan Nix
Director(s): Jonathan Nix
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