Spike and Mike's Classic 2001

"Very Good"

Spike and Mike's Classic 2001 Review


23 years old and still running strong, Spike and Mike's Classic Festival of Animation 2001 isn't showing any signs of its age. For 2001, its latest collection of short animation films -- 16 different cell, computer graphic, and clay animation shorts that range from the beautiful to the bizarre -- profiles many unknown talents in the animation world on the brink of their big mainstream breaks.

Over the years, Spike and Mike's Animation Festival have hosted works by John Lasseter of Pixar, Tim Burton's first films, Nick Park of the Wallace and Gromit series, the boys of South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head, The Powerpuff Girls, The Rugrats, and Ren and Stimpy. This year, the festival hosts 10 international award winners, two Oscar nominees, and the latest short from Pixar studios.

Notable shorts this time out include Caged Birds Cannot Fly, a dark examination of how the caged soul finds freedom within. There's an onion pie suicide and a pigeon without flight carrying the twisted prose of The Pigeon and the Onion Pie. Absurd simplicity is found in a series of commercial product shorts collected in one piece called Rejected. There's a beautiful, CGI-rendered comical farce about acceptance and the price that some pay for it in Pixar's For the Birds. The beautiful tribute to the remembrance of brotherhood, built in the stoic grays and blacks of clay is found in Brother. And the most amazing use of lighting ever seen in CGI animation highlights The Last Drawing of Canaletto. 2000 Oscar Winning short Father and Daughter is also included.

Certain pieces of the festival run a bit on the dry side. The Prince and the Princess, a cautionary tale of true love, runs too long for its scant comedic value. Insect Poetry, a strange twist on an insect poetry reading, is uninteresting. And the strange tale of an angry woman, a suppressed man, and a vengeful goat is clever but confusing in Little Milosh.

As always, the best part of the festival is that it provides a wonderful night out on the town for both kids and adults. This year, the show's animated shorts might be geared for the kids, but the quality of the entertainment helps even the most hardened of adults find that lost kid inside.

It's a bug's life after all.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Michael Dudok De Wit, Ralph Eggleston, Don Hertzfeldt, Jonathan Hodgson, Patrick Smith, Luis Briceno, Mariko Hoshi

Producer: Craig Decker

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