THE TALE OF THE FOX
LE ROMAN DE RENARD
1930, 65 min, France, Dir: Irene Starewitch, Ladislas Starewitch

One of the first animated feature films in cinema history (it premiered a full year before Disney’s SNOW WHITE), and the only film of this scope that Starewitch would make, THE TALE OF THE FOX is a masterpiece of the form. Master Fox, the forest’s utmost trickster, harasses the king upon whose lands he lives. Following a particularly wily hoax, however, the king orders Master Fox to be arrested and brought before the court. Inspired by a medieval French fable, THE TALE OF THE FOX is a ceaselessly inventive and wondrous film.


ISLE OF DOGS
2018, Fox Searchlight, 101 min, USA/Germany, Dir: Wes Anderson

This animated gem from writer-director Wes Anderson tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire prefecture. The star-studded voice cast includes Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum.


MIND GAME
2004, GKIDS, 103 min, Japan, Dir: Masaaki Yuasa, Kôji Morimoto

This exhilarating animated cult classic is an explosion of gloriously colorful mages ricocheting in rapid-fire associations - like Masaaki Yuasa’s brain splattered onto the screen in all its goopy glory. Audiences will begin to grasp what they are in for early on as loser Nishi, too wimpy to try to save his childhood sweetheart from gangsters, is shot in the butt by a soccer-playing psychopath, projecting Nishi into the afterlife. In this limbo, God – shown as a series of rapidly changing characters – tells him to walk toward the light. But Nishi runs like hell in the other direction and returns to Earth a changed man, driven to live each moment to the fullest.


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