Toys in the Attic
- Friday, 17 August 2012 20:39
- Last Updated on Sunday, 26 August 2012 09:30
- Written by Marc Spess
Jiří Barta has created a new film, and it will leave you in awe!
Recently I was sent a DVD copy from Kellwood Media of this intriguing new film by Jiří Barta. Visually it has no equal in terms of raw texture and feel. It seems that every surface is rich in detail.The lighting, color and atmosphere draws you in almost immediately from the start.
The first thing that struck me when I started watching were all the different scales of the puppets, the mix of live action, 2-D and 3-D elements. But instead of each different part of the film distracting from one another, everything seems natural. Maybe it is because the characters all are made to emulate real world toys and other novelties that you might find in any attic.
The animation, while not squeaky clean like some more modernized stop motion films is fairly smooth. It is not so perfect that it blends into the live action scenes, there is a distinct line drawn between the surreal and real. In many parts, 2-D hand drawn water splashes, smoke and other effects were added. It reminded me of the early Nightmare Before Christmas tests that Henry Selick tried out early in that production. No doubt he may have been inspired by similar Barta works.
That said, almost nothing escapes the animators hands. Even the onlooking cat gets animated, dons a costume and speaks. Even though the puppet version does not look 100% like a real cat it really doesn't matter. Imperfections are not hidden and in a way it is one of the best aspects of the film.
You can watch the official trailer that was recently released:
Voice acting was well done. It didn't stand out for me as anything amazing, but each of the characters do have a unique and distinct style to set them apart. Some of the actors include Cary Elwes, Forest Whitaker, Joan Cusack, and Vivian Schilling. Most definitely chosen for their star power they do a good job.
As for the story and pace of the film, it seems to be inspired by films such as the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and modern adventure films all wrapped into one. Characters go on a journey to save Buttercup who was kidnapped by Head of State. While the name has political implications, you can almost swap out his role with any fairy tale role of your usual evil ruler. As the puppets make their way through the attic, they come across many pitfalls that are very cleverly thought out visually . The way that clouds, water and certain effects were handled was that only items you would find in an attic could be used. You just have to watch the film to find out their tricks.
Over all this film is one that I believe every collector of European or Czech stop motion needs to have. It is very enjoyable, thank you Kellwood for the review copy!
If you would like to see stills, videos, read up-to-date news on the film then make sure to Like Toys in the Attic on Facebook here.Toys in the Attic will be featured at the 2012 NYICFF on August 25th.
UPDATE: We were sent two brand new video links that we are sharing below: