24.99: The Price of a Christmas Miracle

May 17, 20204 min read

On a cold Xmas eve, Selorm Dogoe’s heartwarming piece, 24.99 shows the gift of Christmas to a young boy in an unexpected way. Even though Christmas is 7 months away, there are many parallels to be drawn between the animated short and these COVID-19 times.

Plus, this film was up on our schedule to be written about in our aniRadar series.

Before we begin, here’s a question that I was asked by a friend:

Is a gift better appreciated if it satisfies a need so intensely or if it is obtained at great cost to the giver?

Joy to the Store, The Cash Will Flow

Every year, Christmas grows increasingly commercial and focused on consumption at a price as shops fill their display windows with the ‘new’, ‘better’ and ‘shinier’ to attract ‘festive buyers’ high on ‘holiday spirit’. With Black Fridays and beer-bellied Santas, the season has become a grand grab-fest. People save up to spend in the stores, buying whatever their hearts desire at enticing discounts. 

But what do you do when you can’t afford any of the items on sale, even at their unbelievable discounts? Wallow in despair and sorrow and kiss Christmas cheer goodbye? Certainly not.

To Gift or Not to Gift?

Scene of a little boy staring at the poster of a much desired robot for sale at just 24.99. Illustrated and animated by Selorm Dogoe

Money could have been the difference between a happy Christmas or a sad holiday for a little boy, but sometimes there’s more choice than what we afford ourselves to see. This short hints at the commercialized Christmas story as a fallacy and offers an alternative solution, to make the best out of every situation for the awesome price of free.99

24.99 is about a less privileged family who can’t afford to follow the popular Christmas story of buying gifts and instead, make their own. The description for the short simply reads “a boy’s dreams come true on Christmas Day.”

In 1 minute and 38 seconds, Selorm  Dogoe – the writer and director also behind Flower – runs us through hope, disappointment, sadness, innovation and joy. And in those few moments, we learn the lesson of allowing ourselves to truly make the best of the things we have around us.

What future joy are we letting a lack of money, or time or any other resource get in the way of? And is there any other way to go about attaining joy we so seek?

While this piece is a Christmas themed film, it fits with our present Coronavirus reality. Humans the world over are learning to make the best of the situation, innovating new ways of keeping informed, entertained and connected. 

If this short has brought out anything, it’s the idea that sometimes happiness lies in the most unexpected of places. There is value in the things that we give time to. And with this knowledge, I’m teaching myself, French.

 À la prochaine!

Watch 24.99 below.

About Selorm Dogoe

Selorm Dogoe is a Ghanaian animator, illustrator and award-winning copywriter. He is currently the Creative Director at dentsu Creative (he was formerly with Innova DDB) in Accra where leads a growing team in delivering creative solutions for local and global brands in different African markets. His animated shorts have been screened in Film Festivals such as the Accra Animation Film Festival. He was one of three winners at the Annecy MIFA pitches at AAFFia last year.

See more of Selorm’s work on YouTube, Instagram and his website.

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Nana Yaa Serwaa Osei

This is Nana Yaa, a convert of Squid Magazine. Formerly lost, she's gone through the stages of denial and finally come to realize her appreciation for Africa's diverse creative outlets through African Animation, Digital Art and Comics. A true introvert, gets excited about food and topics on environmental and battles a phobia for office hours. When she's not writing or creating content, she's taking budget trips with her friends or battling her dog over the last pair of socks.

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