animators in France understand the Massachusetts economy is on life support. Forced
to vote with their feet, the owners of a plucky kitten abandon him on the
street when they move from their suburban Boston home. However, he will find a
more distinctive abode in Ben Stassen & Jeremy Degruson’s Studio
Canal-produced (English language) House
of Magic 3D (trailer
screens during the 2014 New York International Children’s Film Festival.
is not cut out for a stray’s life, but nobody seems to be eager to adopt a cat
in the residential neighborhood he finds himself stranded in. There is also a
rather inhospitable dog, but he will not follow Thunder onto the grounds of the
big spooky house on the hill. That would be the home of Lawrence, a.k.a.
Lorenzo the Magnificent, an elderly but still spry magician.
evidently has a soft spot for cats, but Jack, his rabbit-in-the-hat and Maggie
the mouse are not so welcoming. In fact, they are determined to send Thunder
packing. Still, Lawrence’s doves and his
assorted sentient mechanical gizmos are happy to share their home with Thunder.
Despite their scheming, Jack and Maggie will not really be House’s villains. Those duties fall upon Lawrence’s slimy realtor
nephew, who wants to get his hands on his uncle’s prime real estate.
House is one of the
more conventional programming selections at this year’s NYICFF, but for kids
who dig kitties and bunnies, it is pretty sure fire stuff. Both Thunder and
Jack are quite expressively rendered and there is nothing remotely objectionable
to concern parents, unless they are realtors too.
it is all very cute and furry, but for older animation fans the real story is
the quality of House’s 3D. Clearly
conceived with the process in mind, the various scenes of swooping doves,
leaping kitties, and skittering critters are conducive a far more dramatic and
immersive experience than the occasional pointy object jutting out from the
screen. Quite superior to most tent-pole 3D fixer-ups, House ranks somewhere just below the awesome spectacle of Tsui Hark’s
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate.
While the 3D experience will impress viewers of
all ages, the humor is definitely aimed at a younger demographic. For the
record, it killed at its first NYICFF screening. Recommended for youngsters who
love kitties, bunnies, and hocus pocus, House
of Magic 3D screens again on Saturday March 29th at the Village
East, as part of this year’s NYICFF.
Labels: 3D films, Animated films, NYICFF '14