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Iz: The Spirit of Aloha (2008)

Iz: The Spirit of Aloha starring Tito Grey. A short film about the life and times of Hawaiian Musician Israel (Iz) Kamakawiwo'ole. How he overcame obstacles as a young Hawaiian boy, with the help of spirit friends, and became the legendary singer.

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Tito Grey ... Narrator
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A short film about the life and times of Hawaiian Musician Israel (Iz) Kamakawiwo'ole. How he overcame obstacles as a young Hawaiian boy, with the help of spirit friends, and became the legendary singer.

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Animation | Short

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25 September 2008 (USA)  »

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$500 (estimated)
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Wow--a biography in only 4 minutes!
6 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

This is a clever way to discuss the brief life and legacy of Israel "Iz" Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole--a Hawaiian singer who is pretty much unknown to people outside of the Islands, though many will recognize some of his tunes (such as the ukulele version he sang of "Over the Rainbow") as they have been used in various TV shows and movies. In Hawaii itself, he's a bit of a local hero.

The story is told using CGI--sort of like a more crudely rendered version of the stuff you see from Pixar and Dreamworks. This style worked, however, and was a good bet, as Iz died a decade ago and animating his little story made sense. By the time the film is over, the viewer will most likely feel a sense of loss (Iz died due to the effects of morbid obesity when he was still in his 30s). As for me, it encouraged me to investigate more about who he was and what his life was all about--so in that sense the film was quite successful.


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