April 9, 2009

April is upon us once again, which means it's time for another round of Sprockets, the Toronto International Film Festival for Children. Browsing through the catalogue, I saw very few animated offerings, especially among feature-length titles. Here they are:

Dragon Hunters: This 3D computer animation from France, Germany, and Luxembourg is the story of Zoe, who loves stories about dragon hunts and aspires to join one herself. When her uncle sends her packing due to fears of a dragon called "World Gobbler" awakening, Zoe quickly recruits some unlikely "knights" in her quest and marches off to face the danger.

Little Dodo: Traditionally animated, this German film centres on a young orangutan named Dodo who discovers a violin in the forest, makes friends with humans, and gets scolded for his lack of musical talent by his animal neighbours.

Spirit of the Forest: Starring Giovanni Ribisi, Angelica Houston, Ron Perlman, and Sean Astin, this computer-animated Spanish film tells the tale of a ragtag band of animals who fight to save the life of a sentient tree threatened by developers. (I'm especially intrigued by the Clan of Free Cats mentioned in the description.)

Sprockets runs from April 18-24.

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