The House of Small Cubes


With his town steadily being submerged, a widower keeps adding levels on the top of his house. Losing his pipe brings back memories.

Year: 2008
Director: Kunio Kato

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This is very different to any review I’ve written for New On Netflix so far; mainly because it’s very different to things that I normally watch. “The House of Small Cubes” is a 12 minutes animation from Japanese director Kunio Kato which won the Oscar for Best Animated SHort in 2009.

The premise is simple: the world is gradually flooding and homeowners need to keep building upwards in order to stay dry. Our lead character, I shall call him Bob for the sake of simplicity, is a hunchbacked old man who lives on his own. As the waters continue to rise he gets out his ladder, bricks and mortar in order to add a new level to his home.

The animation has a grainy, watercolour-with-pencil look to it. Imagine a large picture book that moves. There is no narration or dialogue but, to be fair, the story doesn’t need it.

When Bob drops his pipe into one of the underwater levels of his home tries a few replacement ones but none of them are the same. Donning his scuba gear, Bob dives under in search of his pipe. It doesn’t take long for him to locate his missing pipe but then the memories come flooding back (pun intended).

Bob dives deeper into his home and deeper into his memories. It’s quite nice to follow his reminiscing but equally sad to see loved ones he has lost.

“The House of Small Cubes” may be short but it tells a beautiful, yet somber, tale of love, loss and old age.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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One thought on “The House of Small Cubes

  1. I thought this was a beautiful film – a very human piece, with pretty animation, somewhat in the style of ‘The Snowman’, in that you could imagine someone spending hours drawing the thousands of individual cells, or cell equivalents. The music is charming too – its well worth a watch, I feel.

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