When the Wind Blows | Chicago Reader

When the Wind Blows

Director Jimmy Murakami and screenwriter Raymond Briggs's English 1986 animated feature gets us to think the unthinkable—to imagine the aftereffects of a nuclear holocaust—by creating a very funny and believable elderly English couple, still mired in memories of World War II. Rather than stretch this fable out to a global scale, the filmmakers make all their essential points by sticking to the isolated couple in their country cottage, aided by a realistic style of animation that incorporates some live action, by occasional stylistic changes that allow for more abstraction in some fantasy interludes, and by the speaking voices of John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft. It's rare that a cartoon carries the impact of a live-action feature without sacrificing the imaginative freedom of the pen and brush. Comedy and horror intertwine in this domestic, kitchen-sink version of Dr. Strangelove, and our involvement in the two characters keeps us helplessly glued to the screen. 80 min.

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