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V.19 No.22 | 6/3/2010
The Secret of Kells

Animation

Howl’s Moving Castle, Secret of Kells Guild Double-Feature

Oscar-nominated features show back-to-back this weekend

By Jerry Cornelius [ Fri May 28 2010 2:14 PM ]

Big-screen animation is a cinematic pleasure like no other, an alchemical transmutation of ideas into forms, a way to share visions that otherwise could not exist. At its best, it’s like stepping into someone else’s dream. Hayao Miyazaki’s films achieve this Stendahl-syndrome-like effect, and while I would personally rate 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle as somewhat overstuffed and unengaging as a whole (it’s adapted from a 1986 British novel), there are nevertheless moments of such jaw-dropping awesomeness, that any flaws are immediately forgiven. (From a “Mom’s Matinee” POV, know this this film is (a) two hours long and (b) a little heady. I’ll be bringing my 6-and-under posse, though.)

Last month I road-tripped to Santa Fe to see The Secret of Kells, which the Guild Cinema has wisely picked up as its main attraction this Memorial Day weekend. The film is a stylish delight with another idea-heavy, dark (and dare I say psychedelic?) story interwoven with delightful kid-friendly inventiveness. (This film isn’t a “Mom’s Matinee” per se, but could be. If your kids can hack a (highly stylized) Viking massacre scene and some other scary bits, their new favorite cartoon cat will definitely be Pangur Bán.)

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