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Tonight I went to go see "Raising Helen". I was pleasantly surprised to see this pre-show cartoon! I was taken aback. What an absolutely incredible piece of work!! An astonishing blend of traditional (2-D) animations and CG environments and painting techniques. But beyond the technical achievements, the story (based on an original idea by Disney icon, Joe Grant) was darkly hilarious!! Quite a style break for Disney, yet it wasn't edgy for edgy's sake. Totally satisfying. It was a perfect marriage of fun storytelling and great design and technique. Pure artistry. I will buy "Raising Helen" on DVD just to get this cartoon alone. I sure hope it will be available!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This cartoon was nominated for the Academy Award for Short Film,
Animated, losing to Ryan. There will be spoilers ahead:
Lorenzo is a very short (just over four minutes long) and incredibly funny cartoon which, if I understand correctly, was originally intended to be in the third Fantasia feature, which was shelved. It certainly would fit and would have been one of the highlights had they made the feature.
The plot is a simple one. Lorenzo is a spoiled and self-indulgent cat with a luxurious tail. First, we see Lorenzo, lounging and eating shrimp cocktail, with several bedraggled and obviously hungry cats watching him. Lorenzo mocks them by drawing a sad face on the window (there's no dialog in the short).
The cats watching Lorenzo scatter when a black cat comes out of the night moving towards them. The cat has the stub of a tail and a rather eerie and malevolent look to him. Lorenzo taunts him by waving his tail about and stroking the fur. Unwisely, as it turns out that the black cat casts a spell on Lorenzo's tail, bringing it to life.
Lorenzo's tail then grabs Lorenzo and makes him dance the tango with it. It's basically just that one joke from this point on, but it's a magnificent one and the visual gags are priceless! I won't spoil them by mentioning them here, but suffice it to say that Lorenzo isn't a happy kitty at all here! Stay through the ending and the credits, as there's a very nice bit in here.
This short has just recently been released on a Blu-Ray/DVD collection of recent Disney shorts (Walt Disney Short Films Collection) and it and the Blu-Ray/DVD combo release are both most recommended.
I saw this short film before 'Raising Helen", and was quite surprised
The animation combined with CG like movements from background to background is really good, but the storyline leaves something to be desired. An obnoxious cat, gets a spell put on his tail, by a odd mystical black cat, so it comes alive and starts to tango with him. And after a while i was starting to get a little freaked out by what all this cat was trying to do to his tail to make it stop. (running it over with a train, drowning it, electrocuting it, and ultimately wanting to take a knife to it) This cartoon is defiantly a different direction for Disney, and is not for everybody.
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