Like many recent events, the 2021 Sundance Film Festival edition has moved from an in-person showcase to an online one. The global producer, streamer, and distributor Mubi has won vital European territory rights for Dash Shaw’s Cryptooo. This got special mention and premiere in Berlin Film Festivals for the animation world early this year. The movie is anticipated to arrive in theaters worldwide starting this August.
The film has already earned some fantastic reviews within the animation world from the trailers. Audiences are praising it due to the originality by the animation studio. This new animated art feature comes from the acclaimed writer and director Dash Shaw. The animation is by his wife, the gifted animation director Jane Samborski. It has a style that illuminates the adventure of imaginary, mythical creatures and their all-too-human friends and enemies. It brings something new to the animation world.
The action takes place in a fictitious world where cryptids and mythical creatures are feared and hunted by humans. This includes Bigfoot, Loch Ness, Kraken, and others. Intending to protect these creatures from being hunted and killed, two individuals operate a haven that keeps these cryptids safe. Joan (voiced by Grace Zabriskie) and Lauren (voiced by Lake Bell) make it their life mission to ensure each known mythical creature is brought to the sanctuary to protect them from militant hunters like Nick (Thomas Jay Ryan). Some other main stars that will feature include Lake Bell, Emily Davis, and Michael Cera.
What’s it about?
The story revolves around Lauren’s quest to find Baku, a dream-eating cryptid who assisted her when she was a child. However, Nick and his militia want to find Baku since he believes it will eventually stop left-wing protests. This fight will take them back to Cryptozoo, where they’ll all realize that keeping a group of hunted individuals in a sanctuary by taking them out of the society and keeping them behind glass is the best idea or maybe not.
Its message is that animals shouldn’t be mistreated or caged and capitalism is wrong. The message helps build a base of emotional storytelling and individuals to care about. However, the film follows sequences interwoven with powerful messages that create bursts of emotional effect and later transform into an exciting, action-packed sequence.
The Animated Film’s Reception
Magnolia Pictures has picked the feature for North America from Sundance, where it won the NEXT section’s Innovator Prize. The film touches on everything from sex, politics, bio-weapons, military, capitalism, and xenophobia in a simple, earnest but messy way. The film commands attention balancing the art-school innovation, child fantasy, and pure chaos.
According to the writer and director, the movie gets its inspiration from early American animation innovator Winsor McCay in his unfinished work The Centaurs, Japanimation cyberpunk Akira, and French Sci-fi Fantastic Planet. Brimming with new ideas and visual innovation, the film captures the flurry of motion and thought at the center of perilous times and even dares to make fun of them.
The film was first released at the Sundance Film Festival on January 29, 2021, and will be released in the United States on August 20, 2021, by Magnolia Pictures.