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Let us reflect on the brief existence of Pickle the fish. Although he could not swim, he was lovingly cared for by a couple that kept him propped up in a sponge. Along with an obese chicken, a cat with a heart condition, and a paraplegic possum, his life is a celebration of man’s eternal capacity to care for all creatures. He will be dearly missed.
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Running Time
15 minutes


Pickle is a recounting of the history of a wide range of rescued pets belonging to a couple with a penchant for animals that spans the length of their 25-year marriage.

For no particular reason, all of the creatures in Tom & Debbie’s menagerie seem to suffer from an unusual medical condition, or a tragic, unexpected demise. Or both. Ironically, they are too often the casualties of attacks by other animals. Depending on how you look at it, they are either very lucky or very unlucky.

The film’s namesake, Pickle, was a fish born without the ability to swim. He was kept propped up in a sponge to keep him from sinking to the bottom of his aquarium. Pickle was lovingly attended to, along with an obese chicken, a cat with a heart condition, a duck that raised chickens, and a paraplegic possum that demanded scrambled eggs for dinner.

Pickle explores the human capacity to care for all creatures throughout their sometimes greatly protracted lives until their occasionally sudden and unfortunate deaths.

Filmmaker Notes:

After two feature films that ate up a lot of my life and a small fortune in savings, I was feeling very proud but pretty burned out. A good friend suggested I make a short as my next project instead of launching into another full-length documentary. That sounded fun. And I was dying to make something light-hearted. But about what?

After months of poking around, doing research, trying on ideas, rifling through old files, and rolling things around in my head, my husband asked me which topic I had decided on as we were falling asleep one night. I thought for a minute before I answered. “I think I might make a film about all those silly animals Dad has had over the years.”

“What will you call it?”


Film details
Year(s) screened
  • 2016
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Festival screenings
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