Jacques Demy's filming cartoon-maker Grimault, among his creations, is
a little clumsy and a little naive but there is no doubt that it is a
sincere tribute from one talented film maker to another.
Starting as animation and changing into live action in the studio, we
see the now old man sitting at his editing table, joined by his
creations. This is the kind of material American TV produced with
Disney or Walter Lantz. However the film has a greater resonance when
we know the history of the French animation industry and the decades
long loss of Grimault's feature film LE ROI ET L'OISEAU to it's
creator, none of which are referred to in this film.
Instead we get the Grimault shorts chronologically. It is alarming to
see that most are reproduced from worn copies, suggesting that the
originals may have been lost. The ending is irresistible, when all the
cartoon characters gather on the edge of the table to see Grimault's
beautiful LE PETIT SOLDAT - arguably the all time best toon.
The title has acquired a second meaning, not just the early advertising
short Grimault made with Jean Aureche but also the editing bench.
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