8 September 2014 | CultcinemaDOTnet
Exactly what you expect
As with most of Christopher Nielsen's animated endeavors, The Escalator is almost good, but not quite. The film follows a naked man walking up a never-ending escalator, meeting a few other nude men and women along the way. The escalator is of course meant as another metaphor for "society's ladder", and Nielsen asks us why we should bother climbing to a top which we'll never reach, when it might just as well be perfectly enjoyable to let yourself sink to the bottom.
The soundtrack consists of a droning bass dragging on the same two notes over and over, and gets a little annoying after a while. The animation is pretty decent, though far from Pixar-quality, it still has many nice details, and great visual ideas. However, being riddled with on-the-nose dialog throughout the 10 minutes runtime, the film suffers from lack of any nuance, and a concept that is far from as clever as it thinks itself to be.
As very few other filmmakers put this much effort into animating films for adult audiences, The Escalator is still amongst the best of its genre, simply for the lack of many competing titles. Yet when comparing it to animated shorts like the sensational Fallen Art, The Escalator appears quite raw and unpolished.