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6 stories take shape in 'Tales of the Night': ★★★½
The shadow-puppet animation of French filmmaker Michel Ocelot, who brought us the pearly delights of "Azur & Asmar," presents a wonderful paradox. The designs do all the work for you, casting spell after spell with their beauty, denying you the facial and textural detail customarily part of any animation expert's arsenal. You find yourself peering into his creations, searching in vain for a nose, some arm hair, whatever. Ocelot affords his silhouette creations pairs of eyes, but the rest in the area of the face is blackness — all the better, however, to soak in the multihued dazzlements of his folk tale's African, Aztec, Middle Ages and Caribbean settings.
November 22, 2012