Chico & Rita – **

Posted: February 20, 2012 in 2010, Animation, Spain, UK, XX

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1235830/

Nominated for an Oscar (in the animation category), but having totally escaped from my radar: Chico & Rita, a romantic animation movie from Spain about two Cuban artists who met in the late forties and got separated by the revolution. I watched it at a friend’s place, who’s Cuban and who had a copy with no subtitles. Luckily it’s a romantic story and it has a lot of music, so I could easily understand what it was all about and also appreciate it.

I don’t really understand why it got nominated though. Sure, it’s hand drawn animation, which in times of stop motion and 3D is quite unique. But the story is so simple and predictable that you wonder what the fuzz is all about. Yes, the soundtrack is amazing. Yes, it’s pretty daring with all the (female) nudity. Yes, the drawings are a nice change. But in the end, it’s just a story about a man and a woman who were meant to be with each other but didn’t because of all kinds of circumstances. And the drawings are really not all that impressive. This should be a passionate movie, but the animation isn’t passionate at all. I know there’s an audience who will disagree (hey, there’s even animation porn), but it just failed to deliver for me.  Both Chico and Rita have vulva looking lips and do strange things with their eyes. Not attractive at all.

But, I hadn’t seen a similar animation movie yet and it really isn’t a bad movie at all. Plus: it gives a great impression of how Havana must have been like before the revolution! And I’ve purchased the soundtrack in the mean time.

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