This holiday season, French animation fans had a chance to check out a more unusual home-grown animated movie as well as the global blockbusters such as Puss in Boots and The Adventures of Tintin.
Directed by Jean-Francois Laguionie (Monkeys’ Castle, Island of Black Mor) and produced by Armelle Glorennec and Eric Jacquot, Le Tableau (The Painting) is an inventive movie that centers on a group of misfit characters from unfinished paintings by a French artist (circa 1930s), who embark on a search for their creator. Variety notes that across the board critical praise for the film and strong word of mouth have turned this modestly released pic (produced by Gebeka, U-Dream, Blue Spirit Animation, Be-Films) into one of “winter’s first discoveries.”
The plot is narrated by a 14-year-old girl who is one of the Halfies—characters in a painting that have been left unfinished. She is one of the key figures involved in a clash of cultures between the Alldunns (the finished figures), the Halfies and the Sketches (simple charcoal outlines that don’t even have any color or oil). Along the way, the film’s creators offer delightful tributes to the paintings of Picasso, Modigliani, Monet, Matisse, Bonard and Derain. The film, which mixes CG animation with digital 2D, is penned by animation veterans Anik Le Ray (who also wrote last year’s Eleanor’s Secret) and Laguionie. Jean Palenstijn was the animation director. We’re hoping that the French-Belgian co-production will land a smart U.S. distributor in 2012.
You can find out more about the movie here: