ALADDIN
1992, Walt Disney Pictures, 90 min, USA, Dir: Ron Clements, John Musker

The Disney renaissance sparked by THE LITTLE MERMAID continued with this dazzling fantasy based on the Arabian Nights folktale. When street urchin Aladdin comes into possession of a magic lamp, he uses its power to woo a princess but runs afoul of the evil Grand Vizier. As the lamp’s wisecracking Genie, Robin Williams is at his stream-of-consciousness best (legendary animator Chuck Jones called this film "the funniest feature ever made” for good reason). Composer Alan Menken’s original score and song (“A Whole New World”) both earned Oscars.


METROPOLIS (2001)
2001, Sony Repertory, 107 min, Japan, Dir: Rintaro

Based on a classic manga by the late, great Osamu Tezuka (with whom Rintaro worked on such 1960s classics as "Astro-Boy" and "Kimba"), METROPOLIS is not a remake of the legendary Fritz Lang silent - although it’s not without similarities. In an enormous, retro-future city where robots and androids do most of the work, there is nonetheless great unrest. The government is a tool of the evil billionaire Duke Red, and the seeds of rebellion grow underground. Stir into this crucible of turbulence a young man, his detective uncle, a youthful assassin and an angelic blonde who doesn’t realize just what she really is, and the result is as compelling as it is eye-popping, and as unusual as the Swing-era music on the soundtrack. In Japanese with English subtitles.


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