The story is of a boy who, while searching for bottle caps at the beach, runs into a lost thing--a creature that looks as though it lives in a gigantic kettle-come-teapot, and who has the personality of a lost puppy. Like all kind-hearted children, the boy tries to find out where the lost thing belongs, only to encounter indifference and bureaucratic coldness. Fortunately, there is a place for the lost things of his world, and he helps the lost thing find it.
I am a long time fan of Shaun Tan and the film did not disappoint. It brought to life everything about his artwork that I love, and the heartwarming story fits right in with his Tales from Outer Suburbia. He gives us a world with a familiar if eerie slant, while limning the humanity that binds us. If I had a vote for this years Oscars, "The Lost Thing" would definitely get mine.
The film can still be seen in cinemas. A website lists all of this year's nominated short films, and includes dates and locations to view them. Unfortunately (1) I don't know how long this website will stay up, and (2) whoever pulled it together didn't make it all that easy to navigate. Sorry.
For all things relating to Shaun Tan's film, you can visit a dedicated website (which includes a trailer) here.