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Epoch Cinema Film Review: ‘Mindful Mr. Sloth’

Updated: Dec 10, 2022


We live in an age where attention spans are at an all-time low and can be measured in milliseconds. Devices with screens are all too available to children at younger and younger ages, which makes it easy to check on the amount of “likes” people have on this or that app, or social media accounts.

Directed by Andy T. Jones, the short film “Mindful Mr. Sloth” is based on an adorable children’s picture book of the same name by Katy Hudson. Like the book, this short animated film is a gentle reminder that sometimes it’s fine to simply stop and enjoy the present moment, lest we miss out on so many of the things that are going on around us.

The film opens by describing the busy life of a young girl named Sasha (delightfully voiced by Erin Ruth Walker). She has a number of hobbies, including playing musical instruments, riding her bike, and recording the different kinds of butterflies she comes across.

Sasha moves at a quick pace in “Mindful Mr. Sloth” (Epoch Cinema/screenshot)

One day, while out in her treehouse, Sasha hears a loud banging noise coming from the rooftop. She climbs up onto the roof to look at what’s going on and encounters a friendly animal named “Mr. Sloth.” Unlike Sasha, Mr. Sloth likes doing things at a slow, gradual pace.

The two strike up an unlikely friendship and at first, Sasha tries to get Mr. Sloth to adapt to her rigorous life pace. She attempts to get her furry friend to engage in games with her, such as playing doctor, as well as join her in different sorts of hobbies, such as painting. But Mr. Sloth moves too slow for her and she quickly runs out of patience.

Things culminate with a big neighborhood children’s bike race and Sasha gets Mr. Sloth all geared up for the event. In no time, he is wearing a helmet and seated inside her bike’s front-mounted bike basket.

Because of her athleticism and fast pace, Sasha quickly races ahead of the other children. But Mr. Sloth suddenly tells her to stop. Sasha obliges and comes to a halt, but asks why he wanted to stop. As the other children whiz by them, Mr. Sloth tells Sasha to listen to a bird that is cheerfully chirping from its perch on a nearby bush. Sasha pauses for a moment to listen to the bird but then notices the other kids passing them by and resumes the race.

Sasha and Mr. Sloth pause to listen to a bird chirping in “Mindful Mr. Sloth” (Epoch Cinema/screenshot)

In no time, Sasha has emerged at the front of the race once more, until Mr. Sloth requests that they stop once more. “What is it now, Mr. Sloth?” Sasha asks her hairy companion. This time, Mr. Sloth asks “Can you smell the flowers?” Sasha takes a deep breath and inhales the pleasant scent of flowers. She wonders why she’d never noticed the smell of flowers before, pausing for a longer time than she did before. But then Sasha notices the other neighborhood kids racing by her and she promptly resumes the race.

A third bike stoppage has Sasha pausing to feel a gentle breeze cascade over her body. This time, she gets off of her bike with Mr. Sloth and they both sit on the grass. Together, Sasha and Mr. Sloth look, listen, and feel nature—taking in the beautiful sights, sounds, and sensations all around them. From there, Sasha begins to understand what Mr. Sloth has been trying to teach her the entire time, which is that sometimes it’s good to slow down, engage in mindfulness, and enjoy the present moment.

Sasha and Mr. Sloth enjoy nature together in “Mindful Mr. Sloth” (Epoch Cinema/screenshot)

Mindful Mr. Sloth features some pleasant animation and a nice background score. It’s a gentle reminder to pause, breathe deeply, and fully enjoy one’s surroundings for that moment. Like the picture book, it encourages people (young and old) to appreciate all the simple things in life that surround us every day. It also features a few pointers on how to be more mindful in one’s daily life and is an inspiring lesson to help guide folks along on their mindfulness journey.

Mindful Mr. Sloth

Director: Andy T. Jones

Stars: Erin Ruth Walker (voice of)

Running Time: 10 minutes

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Release Date: Mar. 29, 2022

Rated: 4 stars out of 5

Not Rated | 10m | Short, Animation | 2022


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