“Le Tableau” — It’s not paint by numbers

Animation, Jean-Francois Laguionie, France/Japan, 2012, 78 minutes
In English or in French with English subtitles

The award-winning animated film, “Le Tableau”, is a lovely creation with a bland story the belies the colorful setting — the world inside a painting!  Even at 78 minutes, the story seems drawn-out and the transition from hand-drawn to computer animation, to the final scene;  a mix of live-action plus animation, is inventive but tiresome.

There’s a great message hidden among the sketches: the importance of self- acceptance, the corruption of power, and the evils of discrimination.  Claire, the young girl, an almost-completed painting called a Halfsie, can be considered the one empowered character.  She leads the others in the path of discovery.  The focus shifts from the character’s journey of self-discovery to focus on the actual journey: that of painted characters traveling from painting to painting.  So, like the Sketchies, Claire’s story is blurred and loses it’s prominence in the shifting story lines.

If you’re going to see a charming French animated film, consider saving your money for the superior “Ernest and Celestine”.

Rating: 1 wee dram of French liquer

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