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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Sad, dark, beautiful and surprisingly touching

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
19 April 2005

In the middle of some sort of wasteland stands an imposing, featureless building that rises forever into the sky. The building holds a nightly attraction, a freak show that draws crowds from all over the region on a nightly basis. One creature comes every night but not just to marvel at the grotesque freaks but rather to watch Jojo, an enchantingly beautiful creature that rides the high wire. However his longing does not go unnoticed – not a problem when it comes to the lonely Jojo but more an issue for the jealous and spiteful owner.

From the very start of this film I was taken by the sheer beauty and yet pure Gothic horror of the animation. Others reviewers have commented on how it looks unoriginal and perhaps even copied from somewhere else but such things are a nonsense – this creation has taken some imagination (inspired or otherwise) and it looks fantastic throughout the entire short. The use of lighting or, more importantly, darkness is great and the atmosphere is superbly presented. With almost no dialogue, it is not just the wider animation that the director gets right, it is the characterisation which also works a lot better than you think it should and I was surprised by how much I was into it and how affected I was by what is ultimately a very dark and bittersweet tale.

The use of music is well selected as well – setting an emotional scene without making it feel like the music is falsely drawing the emotions from you. It is a hard thing to describe and I'm sure the success and good reviews have meant that some have come away feeling disappointed with it but for me I was taken from the opening frames and was engaged and touched by its dark beauty right to the very end. Well worth seeing – ideally on the big screen like I was fortunate enough to have been able to.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Design

Author: raulpu50 from Miami
10 September 2004

Evocative short film that recalls the visual expressionism of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. The story is so visual that I felt the dialog was not necessary and were a little distracting and cartoon-like. The storyline is simple. yet the film achieves an incredible poetic-fairy-tale atmosphere with the amazing design of its 3D B&W animation.

Eerie and beautiful short, not to be missed for fans of German expressionism and 3D animation. It's a great piece of work and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. I hope it makes it as an extra in one of this director's future feature films.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Touching and weird--this one improved with repeated viewing

9/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
15 February 2008

This is a truly unusual film--so very different from the tons of animated films I've seen in recent weeks. You see, I've been watching many Oscar winning animated shorts and decided to watch some BAFTA winners and nominees as well. JOJO IN THE STARS won the BAFTA award for Best Short Animation.

What is most immediately striking is the look of the film. Despite being all in black and white, the film grabs your eye because the CG characters are so unusual and other-worldly. It's so odd world totally unlike ours yet it is still one to which you can emotionally connect. Much of this is helped by a fantastic musical score--very haunting and sad a perfect complement to this animated film.

As for the story, it's a sad little tale of a creature that falls for a "freak" who can fly because unlike the other creatures she has wings. Where it all goes from there, you'll just need to see for yourself. Suffice to say that the story is sad yet very lyrical and touching. A masterful film that improves after repeated viewings.

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Lacks in the story department

4/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
21 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Jojo in the Stars" is a black-and-white animated short film from 2003 that won Marc Craste his BAFTA and I must say I am a bit surprised by that as this is really not a great watch. Voice acting and atmosphere are okay and I don't mind the animation either (without loving it, but that is entirely subjective). However, the story aspect here is very forgettable. The occasional intertitle sequences are almost more interesting than the actual action in here. I cannot say I am surprised to see that Craste has not worked in film for a long time, at least according to his IMDb profile and has never made it big despite his early success with this awards-winning movie here. I do not see too much talent. Thumbs down. Don't watch. A good story is the most essential aspect of a film, especially an animated film and this one is not convincing.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Pretty Good

6/10
Author: drussta from lon eng
24 September 2004

I thought it was done well. I loved the artistic execution, and the 3d texturing and composition was very good, as was the animation. However I thought the theme was a bit un-original. I mean, a freak show, and a love story. It's alright, but it seemed like they were trying too hard to be quirky, and came off looking as though they have stolen a few concepts from elsewhere. I'm not saying that they have stolen ideas from anyone, just that the overall feeling of the film has been done many times in this kind of media. Other than that I did like it, good character design (mostly), but to be honest, I'm sure there were more worthy animations to receive the BAFTA. 6/10

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