My Beautiful Girl, Mari | Chicago Reader

My Beautiful Girl, Mari

A lone seagull winging past the skyscrapers of downtown Seoul sets the mood for this exquisite 2001 animated feature about a preadolescent boy coping with change and loss. Though loved by his widowed mother and ailing grandmother, the hero misses his father and regrets that his only friend will soon leave for boarding school. While playing in an abandoned lighthouse, he stumbles upon a portal to an alternate universe. Lee Seong-kang registers remarkably subtle emotion through vocal characterization and appealing computer animation; his rotoscoped figures moving against delicately watercolored backgrounds beautifully convey the lightness and transience of being. In Korean with subtitles. 85 min.

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