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This 2000 live-action feature beautifully regenerates the Jay Ward TV show, whose capacity to bore children and excite adults was a direct result of its shimmering sophistication. Ward Productions archivist Keith Scott adroitly mimics the original voices of Bullwinkle and the narrator, who explains how it happens that Moose and Squirrel are making a fresh start after years of reruns. But his voice-over warns us that in the meantime “even their wordplay had become hackneyed and cheap”—something the filmmakers' giddy post-postmodernism is certainly not. The reflexive use of computer-generated imagery also has a self-deprecating flair. Des McAnuff directed a screenplay by Kenneth Lonergan; with Piper Perabo, Jason Alexander, Rene Russo, Robert De Niro, Kenan Thompson, and Randy Quaid. PG, 88 min.

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