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Icarus Montgolfier Wright (1962)

 |  Animation, Short
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(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Icarus Montgolfier Wright (1962)

Icarus Montgolfier Wright (1962) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Compelling use of limited animation and narration

This short, adapted from a short story of Ray Bradbury's by Bradbury and George Clayton Johnson, is fascinating in that it's driven by the voice-over work of James Whitmore and Ross Martin and the visuals consist largely of still drawings with comparatively little animation in the traditional sense. Because it would be difficult to discuss the short without some details, there be spoilers ahead:

In the main, the short focuses on the thoughts inside the head of a man, an astronaut scheduled to go to the Moon. As he ponders the flight, he laments having an "ordinary" name he fears will not resonate throughout history. His thoughts lead him to consider some of the pioneers of flight-Icarus and his wings, the Montgolfier brothers and their balloon and the Wright brothers and heavier than air flight. Th move the story along, it's told in voice-overs, with (so far as I can tell) James Whitmore doing the basic narration and Ross Martin delivering the dialog. Most of the visuals are actually still frames of drawings, with animation used for dramatic effect and it's used very effectively.

One thing to look for very early on is the date given for the first flight to put a man on the Moon. Bradbury didn't miss by much. He was off by less than a year.

There was a restoration on this done in 2010 and the copy I saw on Youtube looks and sounds great. Well worthy of its Oscar nomination, though it lost to The Hole, which is remarkable. Very much worth seeing and highly recommended.

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