Entertainment for adults
From politically motivated tales to thought-provoking tales, here are some animated feature films for adults
Growing up does not mean giving up watching animated films. In fact, there are several adult films that use animation to depict topics that can inspire and provoke thought. Foreign adult films, in particular, add a different quality to the medium, offering a different perspective than we’re used to. Start popping the popcorn – here are a few that are definitely worth checking out.
I lost my body
I lost my body follows a severed hand through the streets of Paris to find its owner, a young immigrant named Naoufel. Endowed with a sensitivity and awareness that could rival that of an empath, the Hand takes viewers through childhood flashbacks and various obstacles on the way to its destination. We also see the struggles of its owner, who has already been battered by life (like most of us after 21), trying to cope with the physical loss of his appendix. The haunting visuals and beautifully told story make this a film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
This stunning biographical film tells the story of 19th-century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh through his works of art – think of the oil paintings that come to life. By commissioning thousands of oil paintings from 165 artists, the team behind this production is helping audiences relive the life of van Gogh through this story of crime and mystery. It follows the path of detective Armand Roulin, who is investigating the death of the tormented artist.
Adapted from a two-part graphic novel, this black-and-white animated feature film is an elegant coming-of-age story about a young girl, Marjane, who grew up in Iran in the 1970s. Wealthy secular leftists, his parents and their equally liberal friends first embraced the revolution. However, things change quickly when they realize that the Iran they know is now a hostile place and is now an Islamic state teeming with moral police. Worse yet, there is one particular group they discriminate against – women. Marjane continued her studies in Europe, where she experienced condescension and misogyny. She eventually returns to her country of origin, which is no longer the one she remembers.
Described as a psychedelic tour de force, this animation features dazzling visuals and a rather healthy storyline. The film explores a paradise called Pepperland, a place of beauty, happiness and music. Hell breaks loose in Pepperland when it is invaded by the Blue Meanies, an army of music-hating beings, who metaphorically represent everyone evil in the world. The Beatles rushed to the rescue, making peace with the Meanies and bringing music and color back to the world with touches of humor.
The secret of Kells
Heavily influenced by Irish folklore, this Oscar nominated animation marries color and detail in one enchanting package. It tells the story of young Brendan, who lives in a remote medieval settlement that is under attack by barbarians. A master illuminator comes from foreign countries with an old and unfinished book that contains many powerful secrets. Attempting to complete the book, Brendan embarks on a mission that takes him to the Enchanted Forest full of mythical creatures. Containing religious tension and paganism, this film explores determination and friendship.
The Triplets of Belleville
The film tells the story of a young boy and his dog who live on the top floor of a small crooked house in France. His grandmother, Madame Souza, trains him to become a dedicated cyclist. The young man grows up to join the Tour de France, but he disappears during a stage of the race, with evidence indicating that he has been kidnapped. It soon turns out that he and two other contestants have been kidnapped by a group who want to use their skills for criminal reasons. Determined, Madame Souza goes in search of her grandson with her companion dog Bruno. The duo eventually befriended three older women – the once renowned jazz trio, The Triplets of Belleville. Bewitching and dark, it is a beautiful tribute to cabarets and French jazz.
Waltz with Bashir
Heartbreaking, devastating and disturbing, this animated film relives the moment when thousands of civilians were slaughtered in Palestinian refugee camps during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. A Christian militia was responsible for the deaths, and the Israelis did not stop the massacre although they controlled the militia. Told through the eyes of witnesses, this story opens with a recurring nightmare described to director Ari Folman by his friend. Folman, who also wrote the film, interviews friends of the IDF who were present and recreates the massacre through memories, thoughts, past and present.
the Grave of the Fireflies
This story follows two homeless children from the city of Kobe. Their bombed-out homes, their mother bombed and their father in the Japanese Navy, this film is more of an emotional experience. Deep and stimulating, the concept is simple – survival. Audiences experience the characters through introspective shots and a look at intimate moments, making it more than just an animated film.