Gkids and Fathom Events to screen “Mune” this Saturday – Animation Scoop

Gkids and Fathom Events to screen “Mune” this Saturday

This Saturday, Aug. 12, Fathom Events is debuting the English-language version of the animated film, Mune: Guardian of the Moon, in 350 theaters nationwide. Mune was released in France in 2015 and earned both the Young People’s Jury Award at the TIFF Kids International Festival and Best Film at the Tokyo Anime Awards.

Last year, GKIDS gave “Mune” a qualifying US release for Academy Awards consideration. It was one of a record 27 animated films that competed for the five slots in the Best Animated Feature category. While the studio was not rewarded with a nomination, GKIDS has garnered nine Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations, which is the fourth most for any studio, behind only DreamWorks (11), Disney (10) and Pixar (10).

GKIDS and Fathom Events have had a long-running relationship. They’re currently showcasing six classic Studio Ghibli films. That series runs throughout 2017.

“We are thrilled to be bringing ‘Mune’ to U.S. movie theaters for the first time as part of our ongoing partnership with GKIDS,” Fathom Events CEO John Rubey said. “This title was created to be experienced on the big screen and enjoyed with fans and friends, and this event will give audiences a chance to do just that.”

“This is a magical, hugely entertaining, absolutely stunning film that has been wowing audiences young and old on the festival circuit,” said Eric Beckman, GKIDS CEO. “Now families and fantasy film lovers across America will get a chance to see it in theaters.”

The English-language version of “Mune” features an all-star cast of animation veterans, including Rob Lowe (Simba on “The Lion Guard”), Ed Helms (most recently the voice of “Captain Underpants”), Christian Slater (“FernGully”, “Igor”), Patton Oswalt (Remy in “Ratatouille”) and comedian Jeff Dunham (“Smurfs: The Lost Village”, “The Nut Job 2”).

“Mune” comes from the same producers as “The Little Prince”. That 2015 French animated film received an English-language treatment for Netflix, and featured Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams and Paul Rudd. It was also qualified for last year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar.

I recently had the opportunity to screen the new version of “Mune”. It’s a bold, unique and stunning epic fantasy. The concept is basic, but the story is taken in some rather complex directions. At its core is a classic underdog tale: lunar fawn Mune, the purest creature in the universe, is chosen to be the new Guardian of the Moon, though he and everyone else know he’s far from qualified for the job.

The sun is also getting a new guardian. Sohone (voiced by Lowe) is the opposite of Mune – large, loud and cocky. He and everyone else are convinced he’s the perfect guy to protect the sun, a real hero.

But once Mune and Sohone become the new guardians, the Moon and the Sun quickly are put in danger from evil forces. The normal Day/Night cycle becomes out of balance, putting the future of the world in jeopardy. It’s up to Mune, Sohone and Glim, a smart, adventurous young girl made of wax, to bring the cycle back to normal and restore peace across their planet.

“Mune” isn’t the type of animated film you’d get from Hollywood. Most mainstream animation studios avoid topics such as life, death, harmony, sacrifice, revenge, regret, redemption and spirituality. They’re all on display in “Mune”. While there are plenty of attempts at dialogue-based and over-the-top physical humor, it’s the moments of pure elegance and drama that, accompanied by a soothingly effective score, make this film memorable.

As was the case with “The Little Prince”, “Mune” is visual feast, with imaginative characters that pop and glow on screen. The film devotes equal time to day and night sequences. And the surprise that the animation style changes from CGI to hand-drawn when the characters visit the Underworld is an absolute treat.

While the narrative is basic, “Mune” does jump around at a frenetic pace at times. And there’s plenty of symbolism bubbling under the surface. Rather than trying to dissect all the specifics, I recommend everyone – adults and children – simply go along for the ride.

“Mune” is 85 minutes. Also part of the Fathom Events presentation is a 10-minute GKIDS mini-fest, featuring noteworthy animated shorts from all over the globe. “Mune” and the shorts are suitable for children 7 and up.

For tickets and theater locations, visit fathomevents.com/events/mune

Jackson Murphy

Jackson Murphy

Jackson Murphy is a movie critic and entertainment columnist. He is the creator of the website Lights-Camera-Jackson.com, and has made numerous appearances on television and radio.
Jackson Murphy
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