Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Moon Man: An Animated Fable that Shines
has to be the most endearing dystopia you will ever see. One can understand why
the Man in the Moon came down for a visit, but he will need a little getting
home in Stephan Schesch’s animated feature, Moon
launches today on Tribeca Film’s VOD platforms.
President (presumably for life) has finally conquered the last little island on
Earth free of his control. Yet, it hardly seems to matter to one little girl
and her father. They are following their
regular routine—a drive-in movie, followed by burgers from a 1950’s style
drive-through. Then her father cruises
home with the top down while she curls up in the back seat with a blanket and
the loyal family pooch.
though, something is amiss. The Moon Man
is not looking down at her as he should be.
Like other children around the world, she is usually reassured by the
sight of him up there. (However, grown-ups
somehow grow oblivious to him.) Getting
a bit bored, the Moon Man hitched a ride on a comet, but it was a one-way
ticket. To get back, he seeks the help
of Bunsen van der Dunkel, a Rip Van Winkle scientist who has slept through the
President’s rise to glory. As it
happens, the President also seeks the legendary inventor’s help developing a
rocket to facilitate his conquest of the moon. You get the idea.
of all, Moon Man is basically right
in line with what would be my approach to parenting, if only there were more
drive-in movie theaters. Based on Tomi
Ungerer’s children’s book, Schesch’s adaptation is unflaggingly sweet and
gentle, but one can pick up on the author’s sly sensibilities. Indeed, the constant lampooning of the
pompous President definitely follows in the tradition of Chaplin’s Great Dictator and subsequent satires.
he has not really gotten down to oppressive business yet. This is a bright, vibrant world, filled with
flowers and vintage convertibles. In
fact, the hand-drawn animation is like a breath of fresh air compared to the
computer-generated-focus-grouped tent-poles released by the studios. It looks great and it perfectly suits the
secondary theme of adults learning to see the world as kids again.
the weakest link in Moon Man is the
Moon Man. The innocent Ziggy-looking
fellow does not have much personality, but the world around him compensates for
him. There are some clever bits involving the President and van der Dunkel and
the soundtrack is inspired, including Louis Armstrong’s rendition of “Moon
Man has a healthy supply of idealism with the right
subversive garnish. Schesch keeps the mood light and airy, even when the chips
are down, maintaining a pleasant medium-up-tempo pace. Good fun recommended for
eyes and ears of all ages, Moon Man is
now available on VOD from Tribeca Films.
Labels: Animated films, VOD