Monday, November 27, 2006


Like most guys my age, I'm a big fan of animation. Watching cartoons seems to be something I never outgrow.
Triplets of Belleville
$22.48 at UPC: 043396032316
Not a word of dialogue in this trippy, imaginative production, just jazz music and lots of physical comedy. The story is a bit off-the-wall, and the animation seems a bit crude (it was produced after the advent of CGI, yet the artists chose to draw this by hand to give it a vintage feel). You'll be so
engrossed by the dream-like fantasy the artists created that the lack of a story will totally pass you by. Brainier and more creative by far than most cartoon fare.

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
$12.98 at UPC:
You may know South Park from the animated series on Comedy Central, featuring four elementary-school kids animated Matisse style: with cut out pieces of construction paper. My first impression was that the humor was entirely juvenile. This turned out to be mistaken, a clever story develops that touches on racism, free-speech, and is loaded with peppery, irreverent songs. OK, some of the jokes are a bit
insensitive, but have a sense of humor! Cute as a Disney flick but most definitely not for kids!
$26.98 at UPC: 786936223996
Of all the Disney movies (and there are, in my opinion, a lot of good ones) this is my favorite. The story about a young diamond in the rough who falls for a headstrong princess is cute enough, but the show gets stolen by Robin Williams as the wacky genie, changing into a million different shapes in the course of the film. This is why animation was invented. A couple other characters are charming as well: Abu, Aladdin's sidekick monkey, the silent Magic Carpet, even Jasmine's befuddled father, the Sultan of Agrabah. A feel-good story with a knock-em-dead cast and a few likable songs. If you don't like this movie, there's simply no pleasing you.
Finding Nemo
$23.98 at UPC: 786936215595
The beautiful under-sea artwork makes this film about a young fish kidnapped and trapped in a bowl. Much of it is a funny adventure, but Nemo trapped and lonely in a dentist's office bowl casts a dark shadow over the gaiety. Al Brooks, a comedy legend, heads the cast with Ellen Degeneres as a forgetful tang providing some laughs. Tender when it needs to be, harsh and unforgiving as well: this CGI feature by the makers of Toy Story is also, surely, not just for kids.

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