Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003

(Tie) Finding Nemo and Les Triplettes De Belleville

Each year we ask, "Why do animated movies have so much more craft, wit and heart than live-action films?" This year we ask it twice. The Pixar pixies always fashion funny, poignant stories to match their gorgeous computer images, and in Finding Nemo they hit the jackpot with a lost-child saga told from the searching father's point of view — a serene marine enchantment. That it became the all-time top-grossing animated feature surprised no one. Triplettes, which has earned less than a thousandth of Nemo's U.S. total, is no less beguiling: the delightful, nearly wordless story of an elderly woman's selfless intrigues with her bicycling grandson, some kidnapping mafiosi and three crazy chanteuses. It proves that, no matter what the bosses at Disney and DreamWorks think, traditional animation ain't dead yet.