(2003) dir. Sylvain Chomet
viewed: 01/12/04 at Embarcadero Center Cinema, SF, CA
This is a pretty great film. I’d recommend it to any and all. I’d love to make this film overpower Finding Nemo (2003) and Shrek (2001) in terms of box office returns to encourage the world to realize that there is so much more potential in animation than is ever going to be explored in mainstream Hollywood productions. Not that this could ever happen. Still, it’s heartening to see a feature-length film like this that is so rich and clever and different.The film is beautifully animated, with some wonderful character animation, and in that sense is very appealing and strong. More interesting is the emphasis that this film puts on the visual by telling its entire story with virtually no dialogue. For animated short films, this isn’t anything new or radical. Animated shorts, like other filmic shorts, can afford to be more radical or unusual in their approaches to narrative and representation. Feature animation is so costly to produce that it almost always requires commercial viability. And in that sense, this film has some aspects of a straight-forward adventure sort of story, including a climactic car chase sequence (how un-radical is that?).
But this film is different from most anything else at the feature-length animation level. It surely wouldn’t be confused with any other film that I can think of. It represents a very personal vision, a world utterly unique and vivid.
Everyone should see this film. It’s totally great and fun and clever. Really.