June 28, 2015
Twice Upon a Time.
Review #720: Twice Upon a Time.
Lorenzo Music (Ralph, The All-Purpose Animal), Julie Payne (Flora Fauna), Marshall Efron (Synonamess Botch), Hamilton Camp (Greensleeves), James Cranna (Rod Rescueman / Scuzzbopper / Frivoli Foreman), Paul Frees (Narrator / Chef of State / Judges / Bailiff), and Judith Kahan (The Fairy Godmother) Directed by John Korty and Charles Swenton.
Twice Upon a Time is 75 minutes of uniqueness. It utilizes improv comedians, which means that the movie has an array of unpredictability, which also could be said for the animation. Lumage is one of the more unique processes utilized for a movie. The animators move prefabricated cut-out plastic pieces on a light table, somewhat like cutout animation. There are also multiple versions of this movie, one with a different set up involving Greensleves, one with Efron's character being raunchier (read: less PG), and this one. The one I saw on TCM Underground (which show cult films that aren't as well known late at night) was rated PG, though make what you will about the version you might see. Oh, and George Lucas was executive producer. Anyway...how's the movie? It's a Hodge-podge of characters, silliness, live action mixed with Lumage, and a story that make for a strangely satisfying movie. The characters are zany, but they seem perfect for a movie that takes a story that seems normal at first and turns it into a madcap adventure that isn't all that predictable. Lorenzo Music is a highlight, mainly because his voice fits well with how the movie goes, especially when paired with a silent character, such as Mumford, who looks just like a Tramp lookalike. The villain is over the top evil, and it works for a movie like this, which moves well. Is it dated? You could argue that, but it's a time capsule of creativity that while not particularly new age, is interesting to watch. One bright side is that some people (Henry Selick & David Fincher - both in directing films like Coraline and The Social Network, and Harley Jessup - production design and visual effects, even winning an Oscar) went on to have careers in film after this, and maybe that helps make the movie have a little legacy of its own. Take the movie for what it is: One of a kind, though with different versions.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.