“Strange Land” | Independent Movie Review

Langdon Alger | Independent Movie Review

Strange Land is an animated short by Ashley Nicole (producer, writer, director) that I think only started to scratch the surface of its possible potential.

I’m not sure if what I watched was just a part of a series of stories yet to come or rather a complete project. If this was just an episode, then I would like to see more episodes. However, if what I watched was a completed project, then that kind of changes my take on things, because it definitely needed a lot more explanation to the overall story.

Strange Land depicts the circumstances of “a once quiet town” named Pinewood that is now the center of numerous unusual unsolved missing person cases. However, that is all is there is to the project. Strange Land definitely left me hanging in those regards, because I definitely liked what I saw and wanted to see more.

The animation was kind of like the original South Park episodes use of cut-outs, but with no real movement by the characters. However there was movement with the framing, so it kept things moving along. Strange Land was definitely simple in its complexity, but it worked again because the individual stories seemed interesting and I wanted to take a deeper dive into what was going on in Pinewood.

Strange Land was only a short four minute project, so perhaps the project was just a test run to work on the craft, but the overall lack of developing the story once again really detracted from making this project be something that could have been really interesting and fun. Hopefully the story of Strange Land will continue with future episodes.


Once again, I liked the animation style of Strange Land and I thought it was really well done in those regards. The animation was very colorful, clean and simple, but yet complex at the same time of course.

One issue I did have was that the audio could have been better. The audio was clean, but super simple, and sometimes it was tough to hear the narration as well. To me, the final mix needed a filter or some style to go along with the sound effects that were used in the project.

And, although I like “People are Strange” by The Doors that was the only song that was used and as this being an independent project technically I doubt that is licensed to use, so for whatever reasons that feels like they should have tried to find some original music to make it more of a complete project.