Krysar, also known as "The Rat Catcher", is a truly beautiful bit of obscure animation, executed by Czech animator Jiri Barta (not to be confused with the late Jiri Trnka).
The most amazing aspect of Krysar, other than its sheer oddity, is the unfathomable amount of labor that went into its production. If you manage to find a copy of this film with "the making of" included, you'll be astonished as characters evolve from sketches into finalized wax sculpts, which are later perfectly replicated in wood by a master carver.
While the storytelling itself is linear, the characters faux language makes Krysar an interesting ride. People often liken the visuals with cubism, which does a somewhat accurate job of summing up the animations crooked 3D format. Every shot is a very well planned collage of 3D puppets and skewed sets.
If you enjoy stop motion, and animation in general, this is a very colorful, disturbing, and worthwhile piece of puppet animation. While not entirely suitable for children, I wouldn't hesitate in showing this to teens.
After years of being unable to purchase Barta's work within the US, a wonderful compilation of his work has finally been released onto a region 1 DVD. The disc is entitled "The Labyrinth of Darkness", which I find rather humorous. A compilation of Barta's work was released years earlier in Japan, with almost the same title "Labyrinth of Darkness and Light". I guess America's Grimm loving population is too cool for the light.
Related Fable Animations: Old Czech Legends - Jiri Trnka The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship - Francis Vose
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