The Second Animation Celebration: The Movie! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Second Animation Celebration: The Movie! 

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It's one sign of just how good and lively this international assortment is that arguably the weakest item in the bunch, John Lasseter and William Reeves's Tin Toy, won the last Academy Award for best animation--and that one isn't too bad either. My own favorites: Tony Collingwood's metaphysical fantasy from England, Rarg, which plays with conceits worthy of Borges and Calvino; Susan Young and Mike Smith's tropical extravaganza Umbabarauma, which gives The Three Caballeros a decent run for its money; and a Soviet tribute to the 60th anniversary of Mickey Mouse by Mikhail Tumelya and Alexander Petrov called The Marathon. Other highlights include Gavrilo Gnatovich's original (if grotesque) Lazar, some weird blackout gags by Cuban animator Juan Padron, a salute to the Olive Jar Animation Studio, and several funny episodes with Matt Groening's Simpson family, but this list is far from exhaustive, and the overall level of this collection is unusually high. (Fine Arts)

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