All of this makes for a movie that feels like walking through another’s dream, essentially putting us in Preble’s precisely knotted dress shoes. We enter as curious observers, but leave dazed at the wonders found in the minds of others. Simply put, “Strawberry Mansion” is sensational, weird, and sophisticated.
Also offering a dreamlike atmosphere to Next is Dash Shaw’s “Cryptozoo”, an animated adventure inspired by legendary beasts and the all-female group “Dungeons & Dragons” of his wife Jane Samborski. With Dash as writer / director and Samborski as director of animation, the couple spent five years creating a group of heroes, seeking to save the cryptids from a brutal black market that would strip them for coins and a ruthless mercenary who would sell them to the army. as weapons. While much of the human world thinks things like unicorns, dragons, and centaurs are fictional figures, Lauren Gray (voiced by Lake Bell) knows they are real and need allies. His dream is to present these incredible creatures to the world, via Cryptozoo. Think Jurassic Park for mythical creatures. Designed as a sanctuary, this yet to be opened attraction could be a safe space for humans and cryptids to interact peacefully.
As such, Lauren is dedicated to stalking the cryptids in the wild so that they can be protected while in captivity. Questions of capitalist exploitation and corruption are raised by the cryptid cohort, Phoebe (Angeliki Papoulia), a gorgon who masquerades as human using colored lenses, a scarf and snake tranquilizers. Yet their political arguments must be put aside as they seek out an uncovered Baku (a Japanese tabir that eats nightmares). Lauren, Phoebe and their friends must find this mythical animal before it is captured by nefarious forces.
With globe-trekking, action sequences galore and an array of fantastical creatures, the concept could suit a big-budget blockbuster on par with “Godzilla vs. Kong.” However, there are distinctive elements that make this land deeply art house, including an all-over nudity franchise and a lively orgy scene. Apart from the adult content, Shaw uses a simplistic animation style that is far from commercial. His characters are two-dimensional figures with abrupt articulation and a reserved expression. Their surroundings are watercolor stains or marker stripes that give the impression of forests or caves. In contrast, great care has been taken in the creation of the cryptids, many of which are much more detailed in color and line than the human figures. It reflects the majesty of these creatures, giving an idea of how Lauren views her incredible career.