Odd Things Out

Via Carol Reed and TaxoCop this delightful short (15 min) animated movie based on a children’s book, about a boy who finds “The Lost Thing” – something that just doesn’t fit into the normal (drab, grey, regimented) world. There are other Lost Things lurking in this Oscar winning short, looking forlorn, out of place and apparently invisible to the people walking past them.

Delightful as it is, I got to wondering what sort of message this movie sends about our role as taxonomists. Is the world we taxonomists create quite as bleak as the film suggests? Are we guilty of making odd things invisible and taking the joy and wonder out of oddity by ironing things out too evenly?

Then I remembered: the human capacity for disorder far exceeds our meagre talents. The Lost Thing is an anti-story, and the world of Not Elsewhere Classified is alive and well. And it’s a children’s book. Not to be taken too personally. You can buy it on iTunes. I recommend it.

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