Tales of the Night | Chicago Reader

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84 minutes · 2012

Animated, Animation, Drama, Fantasy
Veteran French animator Michel Ocelot (Azur & Asmar, Kirikou and the Sorceress) tears a page from Lotte Reiniger's book with this feature-length silhouette animation, digitally combining brilliantly colored backdrops with black 2-D characters. As a visual motif, this gets old pretty fast, and Ocelot battles the inherent monotony with a variegated and self-referential narrative in which an elderly animator and his two young proteges dream up and execute a series of nocturnal folk tales. The movie never comes close to replicating the spell that Reiniger (The Adventures of Prince Achmed) was able to cast using much more primitive techniques, which underlines a chronic problem of computer animation: its very precision squeezes all the magic from the magic lantern.

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