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I acknowledge that this movie is not for everyone. In fact, I can only imagine this movie having niche appeal. It has roughly the pace of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but is somewhat shorter. The imagery is often disturbing, sometimes oddly sexual and always mind-bending. For heaven's sake, it's an Czech hand-painted animated film with frequent partial nudity, an allegory of the Holocaust, and a Gainax Ending.
That being said, I'm way into all of that. Imagine if 2001, Nausicaa, Evangelion and the Truffaut film of Fahrenheit 451 were all combined into one animated, seventy-minute head trip. I read the film as an allegory of racism and genocide, and the part where the village is being gassed is as harrowing to me as the "Napalm in the Morning" scene from Apocalypse Now. There were parts of the movie that were quite beautiful, however, like the bizarre and comical wildlife on Ygam.
The score is good if you like early Floyd, giving a floating, stoned feel to the film even if you're sober (and I don't think I'd be quick to watch this while stoned or tripping.)
The ending disappointed me not because it was strange (it would have to be strange) but because it seemed too sudden and easy.
The film’s plot is a lot more straightforward than the descriptions would have you believe, and it’s very simple to follow. The ‘trippiness’ is just a 70-min. long Sea of Monsters, more or less, with outdated ‘70s music that mostly ruins the atmosphere (the music from the ‘80s/‘90s films by Hayao Miyazaki is a bit jarring for viewers nowadays, but it’s not something you can’t get used to; not so with this film), and animation and art in general that comes across mostly as just plain bad, not ‘trippy’. The whole thing suffered poor pacing that made the 70 min. feel like double that time, while the resolution at the end was rushed and entirely unsatisfying.
Seriously, just watch Yellow Submarine or something instead.
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