KIRIKOU AND THE MEN AND THE WOMEN
KIRIKOU ET LES HOMMES ET LES FEMMES
2012, 87 min, France, Dir: Michel Ocelot

This third film in the trilogy featuring pint-sized child hero Kirikou weaves together a collection of short-form fables, mixing traditional storytelling and mythology with bits of humor and wit, enlivened with a vibrant use of color and an upbeat musical score from Malian, Togolese and French artists. Throughout, Kirikou is called upon to save his village from perils both supernatural and human, which he does with a combination of speed, cunning and humor – as well as a certain naiveté about the way the world really works. Recommended Ages: 7 and up. In French with English subtitles.


FROM UP ON POPPY HILL
2012, GKIDS, 92 min, Japan, Dir: Goro Miyazaki

Richly evocative of time and place (and the optimism in Japan in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics), this gem from Studio Ghibli was written by legendary studio founder Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Goro Miyazaki, the first feature film collaboration between father and son. In Yokohama in 1963, high school kids Umi and Shun work together to save a dilapidated Meiji-era clubhouse from demolition. But as their tentative romance begins to blossom, a buried secret from their past emerges to pull them apart.


CORPSE BRIDE
2005, Warner Bros., 77 min, USA, Dir: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson

Inspired by a Jewish folktale, this gothic animated fantasy stars Johnny Depp as Victor Van Dort, a shy young man engaged to Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson). After flubbing his lines at the wedding rehearsal, he goes to the forest to practice them - and accidentally marries a woman buried there (Helena Bonham Carter). Tim Burton’s third stop-motion feature and first as a director also features the voices of Tracey Ullman, Albert Finney and Christopher Lee, and the music of Danny Elfman (who plays Bonejangles in the film).


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