Entertainment Magazine: Film: California: Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Film Festival: 2011

Four Fantastic Animated Worlds

By Jared Winslow

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

A man is reading his book as a tornado hits town and whisks everything away.  When he lands, everything is black and white (like The Wizard of Oz but the opposite).  He then becomes a library’s protector to help the books fly again.  The books bring back the color of the world when they are given to other people.  The writer-director, William Joyce, wrote the book that Meet the Robinsons is based on and is the creator of the TV series Rolie Polie Olie and George Shrinks.

The Gruffalo

A story about a horrific monster told by a squirrel captivates her two children.  In her story, a smart mouse fools three predators about the monster, making things up, and it turns out that the monster is real.  It’s the gruffalo.  Then the mouse has to trick the gruffalo to not be eaten by him.  Some well-known actors are the voices in the movie:  Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Wilkinson, and Robbie Coltrane.

Amazonia

This is a colorful short film about how two frogs live in the rainforest trying to find food and escape from predators.  The frogs are the prey of hungry crocodiles and snakes.  At the end, the frogs and their predators bow to the audience for the play they just performed.  It was all pretend. 

The Lost Thing

A boy tells about when he was younger and discovered a lost thing.  He didn’t know what it was.  The lost thing was a sort of machine/creature that washes up on the beach.  The boy tells how the world is dull and nobody else notices lost things in this drab, urban world.  At the end, he puts the creature in a separate world of lost things where there is more color and happiness.

Read Interviewing Filmmakers/Actors at the 2011 SBIFF II

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