The Austin Chronicle

'Flatland: The Movie'

By Shawn Badgley, May 18, 2007, Screens

Who could have guessed – sorry, postulated – that a movie about math would have such a fantasy and sci-fi feel?

In the animated "Flatland: The Movie" – sourced from Edwin Abbott's 1884 novel, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions – we join Hex (voiced by Kristen Bell) and her grandfather, Arthur Square (Martin Sheen), on their journey to discover the Third Dimension. Along the way, they enlist the aid of Spherius (Michael York), a visitor from Spaceland, while outthinking the ruling Circles and their Triangle guards (variously voiced by such locals as Lee Eddy and Shannon McCormick). When Hex wonders out loud about "supersquares" – a line of thought that eventually leads her to the Forbidden Area – Arthur loses his shit, warning her that such "silly" thoughts are forbidden by the Circles. After she asks why, Arthur snaps back, "Why? Because the Circles are wise; that's why." I love it.

The warm, well-written half-hour educational film was a collaboration among Seth Caplan, Dano Johnson, and Jeffrey Travis, a trio with strong Austin connections. The "Flatland" world premiere will take place here on Sunday, May 20, with 3 and 4:30pm screenings at the Arbor (sponsored by the Austin Film Festival), and the DVD will be released on June 15. For more information, see

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