The Painting | Chicago Reader

The Painting

76 minutes 2013

In this French animated fantasy, an entire world exists inside an unfinished painting, its inhabitants the fully rendered Allduns, the half-completed Halfies, and the decidedly incomplete Sketchies. Three of the figures, one from each group, band together and leave the painting in search of the omnipotent Painter, with the hope that he’ll complete his canvas and unite their worlds. The elegant animation riffs on works by Matisse and Modigliani, among other modern artists, and is really quite beautiful, though the computer-generated imagery somewhat cheapens the effect. But considering all the crude CGI nonsense cranked out by Hollywood these days, the film proves a welcome change of pace, reminiscent of early Pixar in its complexity and thematic maturity. Jean-Francois Laguionie directed. In French with subtitles.

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