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European Union Film Festival 2016: Phantom Boy, by Aaron Pinkston

1 Apr


I’ve come to learn that when an animated film is distributed by GKIDS, that’s a pretty assured sign of quality. Since 2008, the company has allowed for many smart, independent animated films to be seen in the U.S. You may not recognize the name GKIDS, but you likely know many of the films they have released—including Studio Ghibli films that weren’t released by Disney (The Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There most recently) as well as Oscar nominated films like Boy & the World, Song of the Sea, Ernest & Celestine and A Cat in Paris. The filmmakers of that last film, Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, have returned with Phantom Boy, an intriguing blend of hard-boiled detective thriller, superhero film, and sick kid melodrama. It doesn’t quite blend those aspects together perfectly but it fits in with other GKIDS releases as an enjoyable and artistic film outside of the animation mainstream.