If you're looking for some alternative TV during the World Cup, how about watching something that's just as international in spirit?
It first appeared on Cartoon Network in 2001, and seemed at the time as though it was aimed not just at kids, but also at people who grew up watching cartoons. Without being self-consciously adult or ironic in its themes and stories, it really captures the freedom and excitement of what it feels like to first discover animation when you're young.
It's a simple enough story: Jack's homeland is attacked by an evil shape-shifting demon named Aku. Jack's father – the emperor in a feudal Japanese society – sends him into exile. in order to keep him safe He roams the world, like a young
This is all shown in a great sequence, a 10-minute, dialogue-free chunk that's as economical and elegant in its storytelling as the opening montage in Up.
They fight, and Aku banishes Jack from his home once more – sending him into a dark future filled with killer robots, wild aliens and talking dogs, where Aku's empire now extends to the entire planet. (He's so evil he even has his own line of soft drinks.)
Jack is as monosyllabic as a
The action sequences are frenetic, stylish, gripping and artfully told. They make full use of Tartakovsky's wide palette: staccato freeze-frames that suddenly chop up the screen, flipping into widescreen panels; a brilliant use of graphics and negative space, with a distinctive "no outlines" drawing style.
Stories about a new movie version of
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