The Best of the International Tournee of Animation

1993 Directed by Various.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Aug. 20, 1993

Collecting together in one film the “best” of 25 years of festival animation is a risky proposition at best; at worst, you end up with a group of shorts everyone's seen before and never loved all that much in the first place. Like most animation festivals, this one falls somewhere in the middle, offering genuinely marvelous bits like the Laurenstein Brothers' Academy Award-winning “Balance” -- in which the themes of greed and retribution are played out in a surreal, otherworldly penal colony via stop-motion camera work -- and Pixar's brilliant and hilarious computer animation in “Tin Toy.” There are a number of clunkers here, to be sure (my friend excused himself in favor of a bit of lobby loitering during a few of them), but the Tournee manages to keep its collective heads above water by sheer virtue of pacing: if what you're watching now doesn't grab you by the throat and make you grin all over the place, then chances are the next film will. Gregory Grant's “Ode to G.I. Joe” is an affectionate look back at everyone's favorite war toy (and I'd forgotten just how many different models there were) that turns a young boy's bedroom into an officer's hall complete with an all singing, all dancing chorus line of Eagle Eyed, Kung Fu Gripped Joes. John Krikfalusi's Ren and Stimpy are here in “Big House Blues,” the first and one of the best of the now-famous pair's forays into complete and utter animated madness, and Cordell Barker's hilarious and very Canadian “The Cat Came Back” (frequently seen as filler on cable's Bravo network) is here as well. All in all, this Best Of the Fests compilation comes out as expected: a few greats, a few bombs, and a lot of decent animation.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Various Films
New French Shorts
Queer and immigrant stories, satire and romance give new perspectives on French culture

Richard Whittaker, May 15, 2020

2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animated
This year's Academy-loved cartoons push the boundaries of the medium

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 31, 2020

More by Marc Savlov
The Twentieth Century
Suitably bonkers Canadian surrealist comedy rewrites history

Nov. 27, 2020

Jiu Jitsu
No jiu jitsu, and not enough Nic Cage in this Predator rip-off

Nov. 20, 2020


The Best of the International Tournee of Animation, Various

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle