23RD INTERNATIONAL TOURNEE OF ANIMATION
                      A film review by Ken Johnson
                       Copyright 1992 Ken Johnson

105 min., not rated, Animation, 1991 (TOURNEE was put out in 1991 but some of the features were made in earlier years)

This year's TOURNEE contained eighteen features and overall most of them were well done. There were a couple that I didn't like very much, but overall it is well worth going to TOURNEE. I am using the rating system of Poor, Okay, Good, and Very Good to rate the features. TOURNEE is not rated but it contains female nudity (drawn) and adult situations.

FAST FOOD MATADOR
4:14, U.S.A., by Vincent Cafarelli and Candy Kugel

This is the story of the perilous life of a fast-food delivery man. "Fast Food Matador" is set to music and the feature follows a delivery man as he tries to make it across the city to make a delivery. The animation is done with what looks like fingerpaint. This style makes the film look rather like it was done by a child, but it was good. The finished product is crude, but enjoyable to watch. Rating: Good

GETTING THERE
1:36, Canada, by Paul Driessen

This feature is about a man who sees a poster advertisement and wants to go where the poster advertises. He tries various ways of getting there but always ends up where he started. Very little of the background is shown, which makes this feature different from the rest. Rating: Good

AT ONE VIEW
6:27, Holland, by Paul and Menno de Nooijer

This is a feature with two people. The people are photographed with still shots. They hold sheets of drawn paper over their faces with faces on them. The idea is neat, but the feature is too long. This would have been much better if it had been about a half as long as it was. The animation, however, was really well done. The faces look incredibly life like. "At One View" won the Grand Prize and the Stuttgart International Animation Festival. Rating: Okay

BIG BANG
4:10, Italy, by Bruno Bozzetto

"Big Bang" is a feature that is very anti-pollution. It shows the planet Earth and the refuse created. It starts with a simple family creating refuse and follows the refuse in a comical journey. The idea behind this feature, I think, is important, and it is presented in an enjoyable way. Rating: Very Good

THE LIFT
9:00, U.S.S.R., by Alexander Tatarsky

This feature shows a comical ride up an elevator. The elevator stops at many floors showing different warped points in history. The animation was well done and pleasing to the eye. It is very pleasing to the eye to watch. "The Lift" won First Prize at the Hiroshima Animation Festival. Rating: Very Good

I SHOULD SEE
2:00, Holland, by Paul and Menno de Nooijer

"I Should See" is the only other film at TOURNEE by Paul and Menno de Nooijer. "I Should See" is completely made up of still shots, so it contains no animation. It shows what the inside of a camera sees when shooting a roll of film. I am not quite sure why this film was included in TOURNEE considering it contains no animation. Rating: Good

PHOTOCOPY CHA-CHA
3:30, U.S.A., by Chel White

"Photocopy Cha-Cha" is set to music and shows "choreography for your copy machine". I considered PHOTOCOPY CHA-CHA to be the worst film at TOURNEE. I found myself getting bored with this feature. The animation was okay, I guess, but not very interesting. I didn't pay too much attention, because like I said, I was bored with it. It is composed of fast moving pictures of people. The end of the feature states that "Photocopy Cha-Cha" was done on a copy machine. "Photocopy Cha-Cha" won First Prize at the U.S.A. film festival. Rating: Poor

ARNOLD RIDES A CHAIR
1:00, U.S.A., by Craig Bartlett

"Arnold Rides a Chair" shows Arnold, a little boy, taking a trip into his imagination. This feature is done in claymation and was made for "Sesame Street." Rating: Good

THE POTATO HUNTER
7:11, U.S.A., by Timothy Hittle

"The Potato Hunter" is about a miniature man and his miniature dog who are hungry. So, to get food, they go hunting wandering potatoes on what appears to be a kitchen table. Very creative and humorous and done in claymation. "The Potato Hunter" won Most Popular Film and the Seattle Film Festival. Rating: Good. [Moderator's note: It also showed up among the winners in this season's "Black Maria Film Festival."]

PUSH COMES TO SHOVE (an excerpt from THE TUNE) 4:41, U.S.A., by Bill Plympton

"Push Comes to Shove" is about two men who start doing harmful things to each other. Each time, things get worse, and the feature gets funnier. This film is not made to be looked at for the art, but to just amuse the viewer. "Push Comes to Shove" won Best Short at the Cannes Film Festival. Rating: Very Good

SLOW BOB IN THE LOWER DIMENSIONS
5:30, U.S.A., by Henry Selick

"Slow Bob in the Lower Dimensions" is a combination of computer animation, live acting, and drawn animation. It shows a double headed girl who watches the hero, Slow Bob, save some photograph people who are being terrorized by scissors. Made for MTV. I was not very impressed at all with the animation in this feature. It was rough in some places and smooth in others. Rating: Okay

CAPITAL P
3:30, CANADA, by Stephen Barnes

"Capital P," I feel, is the best feature at TOURNEE. It shows a little boy who needs to use the bathroom on a stormy night. He has to go all the way down a hall to get to the bathroom. The animation is cute, and the idea is really cleaver and humorous. Rating: Very Good

SURPRISE and LIGHT AND HEAVY 1:15, U.S.A., by John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton

"Surprise" is only a few seconds long and just shows the unveiling of Luxo Jr., a little Luxo light. "Light and Heavy" shows Luxo Jr. learning the difference between light and heavy with a beach ball for light and a bowling ball for heavy. Both features are done on a computer and were made for "Sesame Street." Visually these films are okay. There is nothing really spectacular about either one. Rating: Okay

ORAL HYGIENE
3:17, U.S.A., by David Fain

"Oral Hygiene" is set to music, and has a skeleton who is very conscious of keeping his mouth clean and dances around with other skeletons while singing about his mouth. The animation is really nothing to brag about, but the idea is original. "Oral Hygiene" is the Winner of the Sinking Creek Film Festival. Rating: Good

THE WRONG TYPE
4:14, U.K., by Candy Guard

"The Wrong Type" is about a woman who is not qualified to do anything. She is given a job typing at an office that she has trouble handling. There is nothing really spectacular animation-wise with this film. The animation is more pleasing than some of the other films at TOURNEE. Rating: Good

ODE TO G.I. JOE
4:55, U.S.A., by Gregory Grant

Every child's nightmare comes true; the child's G.I. Joe toys come to life and start playing in the child's room. In doing so they trash the room. The animation is average, nothing really new here except for the brilliant story idea. "Ode to G.I. Joe" is the Student Academy Award Winner. Rating: Good

THE BREAKDOWN
3:25, Germany, by Klaus Georgi

"The Breakdown" is about an interestingly drawn man who is standing on the side of a highway trying to get a car to stop for him. "The Breakdown" is the winner of the Audience Award and the Stuttgart International Animation Festival. The animation is rather crude, but the overall finished product is pleasing to watch. Rating: Good

THE GRAY WOLF AND LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD 22:00, U.S.S.R., by Garri Bardin

"The Gray Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood" is the longest feature at TOURNEE this year. It is a retelling of the classic "Little Red Riding Hood" story. Little Red Riding Hood has to bring a Russian pie from her house in Moscow, U.S.S.R., to her grandmother's house in Paris, France. Along the way she is chased by a bad wolf with metal teeth who wants the Russian pie. Probably there is a hidden message you will catch if you happen to be up on Russian politics. The story line was well written, I think. The overall product was a little rough, but still fun to watch. "The Gray Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood" was the Grand Prize winner of the Annecy International Animation Festival. Rating: Good

Ken J.
blj@mithrandir.cs.unh.edu
.

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