19 August 2011 7:31 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – It doesn’t take a child psychologist to figure out why British author Julia Donaldson’s 1999 book “The Gruffalo” has become a hit with families around the globe. It gives parents ample opportunities to portray various animal voices, while kids can take part in reciting the multiple catchy refrains. Best of all, Donaldson centers her tale on a tiny hero who uses his brains to outwit hulking predators.

Clocking in at a slim 25 minutes, Max Lang and Jakob Schuh’s Oscar-nominated animated adaptation has been hailed in some quarters as a family classic. I don’t think the film is nearly substantial enough to deserve such acclaim, though that’s not because of its limited running time. Several short films left an enduring mark on my childhood. I’ll always cherish the artistic exuberance of Stephan Martinière’s “Madeline,” the Broadway-worthy songs of Michael Sporn’s “Lyle Lyle the Crocodile, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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