Saturday, February 12, 2022

Bears Invasion of Sicily (2019) Animation First 2022

Lorenzo Mattotti turns Dino Buzzati’s classic book into a visually magnificent animated film. The film begins with a older performer and his young charge traveling to a city in Sicily. With the weather turning t cold they duck into a cave hoping to stay warm. They bump into the bear living there and in order to prevent him from eating them, they tell the story of the bears’ invasion which resulted when the bears sought to find food and the bear king’s missing son.

Visually arresting film contains some of my most favorite scenes in any animated film, hell, in any film I've ever run across (beginning with the snowballs and going onward). While everything about the look of the film is spectacular the sequences of the bears fighting the evil duke's soldiers and invading the city are somewhere beyond words. Simply put Mattotti has made a film that is a true work of art, worthy of hanging on a wall in any of the great art museums.

The part where the film wobbles is with some of the way the tone of the film shifts around. The largely delightful first half becomes a bit serious in the second as the change in the bears once they have control of the city seems in someways to be from another film. It very much is not, since this is based on a novel, but the transition isn't quite as smooth as it could be.

But I am quibbling...

As it stands THE BEARS' FAMOUS INVASION OF SICILY is a masterpiece of cinema. It needs to be seen, on a big screen if possible. It is a must see when the film plays at the Animation First Festival in New York.

For tickets and more information go here.

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