Window Horses ★★★★

Window Horses is a phenomenal animated drama that proves you don’t need millions of dollars or Pixar-like precision.

Rosie Ming (voiced by Sandra Oh) is a young writer with little life experience who gets the surprise of a lifetime when she’s invited to a poetry festival in Shiraz, Iran. It’s not entirely out of the blue: Rosie is of Persian and Chinese descent, and is curious about her absent father’s land. The culture shock is considerable, but more jarring is the discovery of how little she knows about her craft.

An already captivating plot is further improved with traditional Iranian poetry and glimpses of history. The film’s looks are deceptively simple (Rosie is a stick figure, but there’s a good reason for that) and enables the participation of guest animators for the most lyrical sequences. There isn’t a weak link in this chain: Sandra Oh’s voice acting is fantastic, Don McKellar as a conceited German poet is a hoot and the narrative builds up to a powerful climax.