Review Date: 11/9/20
Cast: Paul Frees
This collection of Puppetoons celebrates the groundbreaking and visionary work of Hungarian animator George Pal. As such, it's not really a movie, although it's bookended by a couple of stop-motion segments hosted by Gumby, Pokey, and Arnie the Dinosaur (Paul Frees). There's no documentary aspect to it, and the animated shorts are just haphazardly strung together. The clips are technically brilliant, but dated and unstructured, much like what Walt Disney, Max Fleischer, and Warner Brothers were doing in the 1930's and 1940's. During this period, animated films mainly consisted of gag reels and musical short subjects. While some of the results look crude and unsophisticated, you cannot deny the love and craftsmanship that went into creating them. However, the unstructured nature of the collection made it hard for me to concentrate, and I found myself fighting to stay awake through much of it.
The Blu-ray release contains about three hours of bonus materials and extra Puppetoons, which are arguably more interesting than the ones they chose for the movie. They could also be considered more controversial. Fans and students of stop-motion animation should definitely check it out, as George Pal was a great innovator and contributor to the medium.