Worlds drawn to life. Bold blazes of colour and darker shades.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales… (2017)

A lively trio of cartoons that are wacky, heartwarming and wise, The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales showcases an animal farm like no other: The titular fox is far less cunning than he is both kind and nurturing, a duck has no idea how to actually swim, a lizard shows up out of nowhere and starts speaking Mandarin and a stork is far too lazy to deliver the baby in its beak. Those are just some of the characters populating this second feature from director Benjamin Renner (working here with animator Patrick Imbert), whose Ernest & Celestine was one of the more memorable animated movies to come out of France a few years back […]. This time the source material is different, with Renner adapting his own best-selling comic book in a tone that’s equal parts Tex Avery and Dr. Seuss, with a bit of Adult Swim thrown into
Screenings

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)

PLEASE NOTE The screening on Sept. 22nd is dubbed in Finnish, while the other screenings are in Japanese (original version) with Finnish and Swedish subtitles. Your eyes might never be the same after seeing Mary and the Witch’s Flower. [I]ts eye-popping cavalcade of creations and colors speak not to the shock and awe of technology but to the can-do magic of human achievement. […]The charm of a fantastical hand-drawn work like this is that it reconnects us to the primal wonder of the image. […] [T]he two-dimensional, hand-drawn images of Witch’s Flower […] seduce us with the knowledge that they were created by somebody, that they sprung from an imagination. Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice Virtually all the ingredients that have made Studio Ghibli movies so appealing around the world ¬– a wide-eyed young protagonist, a freewheeling supernatural adventure and clean, colorful animation drawn by hand – combine to form the
Screenings

Mirai (2018)

After such expansive fantasies as Wolf Children [2012] and Summer Wars [2009], Japanese animation master Mamoru Hosoda delivers a story of such intimate, unpretentious simplicity, you’d hardly recognize it as coming from the ambitious visionary behind those films. And yet Mirai – which inventively depicts the way a young boy’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of a baby sister – could not have been made by anyone else. It’s the work of a true auteur (in what feels like his most personal film yet) […]. Who but Hosoda could have imagined a scenario – every bit as enchanted as Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, though entirely original in its own right – in which four-year-old Kun comes to accept his initially unwelcome sister via a series of hallucinatory visitations from other members of his family: past (his war-hero grandfather and decades-younger mother), present (an anthropomorphic version of
Screenings

Mutafukaz (2017)

With its anarchic attitude plastered across every delightfully detailed frame, Mutafukaz proves a French-Japanese animation treat: a winking, nodding blend of everything from Men in Black and The Matrix to Sin City and the Grand Theft Auto video games that’s never merely the sum of its many parts. Touching upon everything from economic uncertainty to terrorism to multiculturalism to global warming, the sci-fi-loving B-movie mash-up is also an intelligent take on the disarray and existential unease of contemporary urban life. Set in the fictional, Los Angeles-esque dystopia of Dark Meat City – or “desperate, miserable, crap,” as 22-year-old misfit Angelino (voiced by French rapper Orelsan) glumly dubs it – Mutafukaz finds its unlikely hero depressed after losing another job thanks to a scooter accident, and doubtful that things will ever improve. [Guillaume] Renard and [Shoujirou] Nishimi build their grittily vibrant effort from […] frenetic visuals. Distinctive 2D animation mixes graffiti-strewn,
Screenings

On Happiness Road (2017)

[Sung Hsin-yin] explores the meaning of happiness in her enchanting coming-of-age animation which spans much of Taiwanese contemporary history since the 1970s in its journey to become a full-fledged democracy. The film follows Chi […], who was born in Taiwan in the mid-1970s and grew up on Happiness Road. She then moved to the US to study, and later finds a job and marries an American. One day she receives a phone call to say her grandmother has died, and promptly returns back home. Back in her old neighborhood, Chi reflects on how her childhood, her life at school and her time with her beloved grandmother have all shaped her. Frequently referenced in the story are significant moments in its history, such as the lifting of martial law in 1987 and the death of Chiang Kai-shek, the former president of the Republic of China (as Taiwan is officially known) on
Screenings