There are at least THREE amazing animation films to see in New York this holiday season!
The most widely available and marketed is of course Wes Anderson’s THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, which is perhaps my favorite film of the year. I can’t get over the accomplishment of this film, the exquisite details throughout and the spot on teenage tensions, and the fabulous sense of humor throughout. And to top it off the nutty details such as how the possum’s pupils turn into spirals when he’s confused are so delicious.
Then there’s Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar’s A TOWN CALLED PANIC now at Film Forum. I don’t want to give away the wild whimsy of this film*. I’ll just say it is insanely imaginative both in the way it’s made and the story itself. I’d like to see it 3 times in a row to try to comprehend all the ideas used to tell this fabulous tale. *The film is based on a show of the same name which you can watch here.
And finally Nina Paley’s SITA SINGS THE BLUES will be a the IFC Center next week, Dec 25-31. This film is sensationally original with its many levels of story telling and styles of animation. Here’s the IFC’s film description:
“Tragedy, comedy and musical collide in this gloriously animated film from Nina Paley, New York’s own “One Woman Pixar” (Wired Magazine). Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three bickering shadow puppets with Indian accents act as comic narrators as these old and new stories are interwoven in a post-modern retelling of the ancient Indian epic, Ramayana, animated in a dazzling mix of traditional and collage animation style, and backed by a soundtrack from legendary 1920’s jazz singer Annette Hanshaw. SITA SINGS THE BLUES follows in the line of Triplets of Bellville, Spirited Away and Persepolis to exemplify animation as a “serious” art form—which does not stop it from being laugh-out-loud funny. A panoply of monsters, gods, goddesses, warriors, sages, pyromaniac monkeys and winged eyeballs fills the screen with vivid color from start to finish, while the narrators’ improvisational debates over the Rama legend join the filmmaker’s own tragicomic story to layer a modern feminist commentary on the ancient Indian legend. The result is a subtly subversive, visually stunning, highly original work that is as enjoyable for children as it is for adults.”