28 April 2011 | HallmarkMovieBuff
Hubley's doodles brought to life?
One recalls reviewers and critics proclaiming what a breakthrough "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was in 1988 when it convincingly combined cartoons and live (a.k.a. human) interaction in the same frames throughout a feature length film. The technique wasn't new, of course -- one also recalls live hands drawing real-time animations in cartoons of the 1930s -- but the method was.
How it was done here, one hardly knows, but it seems that here, the cartoons have taken over. Not in their predominance in the film, mind you, but in that they seem to be controlling every aspect of the actors', especially the lead actor's, lives. The larger context of the film, you see, is that the cartoon characters are playing a game, a board game, a table game, a card game, call it what you will, but a game that at least creates situations in which the live actors' interactions are led to behave in some particular manner or other, or to achieve some predestined result.
But what was the genesis of such a film? One gets the impression that creator-animator-director Emily Hubley had been doodling in class throughout her schooling, and that this film represents some collection of those doodles animated and set into a story, whether real from her life experiences or dreamed as she drew.
This may or may not be the case, of course, but it's the impression that this viewer, at least, was left with throughout the film.
Aside from the cartoons, perhaps the most interesting aspect of this film is the offbeat mixture of A-, B-, and C-list actors in the cast. As others have observed, it certainly ain't the story.