First let me say I am a huge fan of good claymation, and the claymation here is pretty damn cool. It has a gritty noir feel that not only suites the story but is interesting in its own right. But that's not to say it's purely a noir exercise in 'grittt for gritty's sake"; the mood isn't oppressive or ridiculously bleak but finds the right balance between down-and-out blues and solemn observation and curiosity. It's imaginatively rendered and has some nice moments.
Now on to the not so good: the film is narrated by William Burroughs, but not in a way that at all lends itself to the visuals. He simply reads his short story word for word, and since there are no sound effects or voices to accompany the claymation it really distracts the viewer from the visuals. It's pretty pointless, as he is reading descriptions of things as we are seeing them. Nothing he reads couldn't have been conveyed with sound effects or dialogue, or even some creative inner-dialogue. It would have been far more interesting to follow the main character in this way, but with the narration it didn't let the story unfold, and it wouldn't let the animation tell the story visually (if you're at all familiar with how an animated movie can be effective you know this is a huge problem).
The claymation would have been that much more vivid if it had been matched to some sound effects, or even some good music, but that's yet another point of contention: the music for the most part is jingly Christmas music, which doesn't fit the animation AT ALL. If anything it could be seen as an ironic choice, but it's used too seriously and for much too long; even a clichéd beatnik jazz soundtrack would have been an improvement.
All in all I was pretty impressed with the animation, but the use of soundtrack really marred this little movie for me.
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