- Directed by Alexis Chaviaras -
Agrinoui is an animation about finding one’s true calling. This educational short with beautifully crafted graphics tells a quirky story about a young race horse that can’t find motivation.
Olympia travels with her dad and trainer to Cyprus for a competition. After losing the first race, she has a quarrel with her demanding father and decides to quit. While wandering aimlessly, she meets Phoenix, a light-headed flamingo that escaped zoo. Following a naïve, but entertaining storyline, the two encounter along the way a diverse group of other talking animals that call themselves GUOYATGHAT (General Union Of Young Animals That Gather Here And There). Embarking on the big convertible driven by a chic donkey, the flamingo and the race horse begins their trip with new friends: an elephant, a chameleon and a mouflon named Agrinoui. During their trip, they listen to Olympia’s story and encourage her to trust herself. But Agrinoui wants to do more to convince her to compete again and tries to trick her into training for running. Though upset at first, Olympia returns for her next race and performs better than ever.
The storytelling focuses mostly on the educational aspect of the narrative and the plot twists are not surprising. However, each character is well-defined, having its own personal body language. The animals are designed in detail and show human features: Olympia is thoughtful and nostalgic, Agrinoui is wise and merry, Dina is motherly and soft-spoken. The group of travelers acts as a life guide for the racehorse, helping her to better understand her passion and her relationship with her parent. That makes the story relatable for people of all ages, as it tackles an important theme: how we choose our way and find our own voice when we face external pressure and authority.
Regarding the technical aspects of the piece, this is an animation worked in detail, from visuals to sound design. The picturesque landscape featuring feathery clouds shows the exotic lands of Cyprus, while the road-movie musical theme is inspired by traditional Greek music. The mix of slow-paced traveling moments mixed with the tense racing shots and the humor filled dialogues make this light-hearted story flow naturally to its end.