(Mia et le Migou, 2008) Jacques-Rémy Girerd’s “Mia and the Migou” has bright, spritely passages in its reported 500,000 hand-drawn frames, but the storytelling seems unsure whether its fabulizing is for kids or grownups. The search for and protection of a Tree of Life (see also: “Avatar,” “Charisma,” “Flipped,” “Tree of Life”) guarded by the monstrous Migoo (Wallace Shawn). The character work is distinctive and often gorgeous, the story a didactic drag about eco-responsibility and global warming. The magic of Hayao Miyazaki’s great embraces of the planet isn’t in evidence. Still, the handcrafted look appeals enough to recommend the film. Other American voice talent includes Matthew Modine, Whoopi Goldberg, John DiMaggio and James Woods; Modine is one of the producers of the English-language version. 90m. (Ray Pride)
“Mia and the Migou” opens Friday at Siskel. The U. S. trailer is embedded below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic, editor of Movie City News and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming. Check a few signs on Twitter (@chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram (instagram.com/raypride). Twitter: @RayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)