The Periwig Maker (1999)

The Periwig-maker is based on The Plague Years by Daniel Defoe. It took many years of hard work to the brother and sister Schäffler team. Their parents made the sets and props in Germany, Spitting Image provided studio space in London for the shoot animated by Phil Dale with puppets by Mackinnon & Saunders.

This short is about one of the many plagues that racked Europe. A Periwig maker seals himself off in medieval plague infested London to escape the danger of infection. When a little girl seeks his help his life is turned upside down. He, locked in his shop, observes the events and writes about them in his journal.
There is nothing sentimental about this film: it just seems to be a straight and no holds barred retelling of events during this plague. Mostly, we see shrouded bodies, and a young girl who lives in the tavern across the way that gets progressively sicker.
The animation style is beautiful and captivating even if the subject matter of the film is grim and unpleasant.

There are references to Jesus Christus' religion. The Pigmaker and the little girl were both mortal. The real story is about the periwig maker's great mistake: his attempt of self-preservation at the expense of Christian charity and mercy.

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