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Inkwolf's Review of American Pop

rated it: posted: Oct 04, 2003
Reviews: 202 | KF Animation Editor
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American Pop is a film worth seeing (once) for anyone interested in animation or music.

In this film, you will hear some of the hottest tunes of the 20th century. (Many of them, in the context of the film, having been written by the main characters. Which seems highly disrespectful of the actual composers.)

The story starts with an immigrant boy working in a burlesque house. Through four generations, the members of the family pass through the major events of their times, each of them beset by tragedies which prevent them from achieving the musical success they deserve. Gangster politics, world wars, drugs...each musician is forced, in the end, to sell out on his dream. The chaarcters aren't likeable, but you still feel the pain of their failures.

As the film progresses chronologically, rotoscoped images from the contemporary news are juxtaposed with animations of the current dance styles...making a clear link between the hit songs and the times and cultures in which they were formed.

The film is gritty and hard-hitting, and definitely for mature audiences. Each character seems to become more mired in desperation and despair than the last, until the last man sinks so deep...he comes out the other end.

Bakshi's rotoscoped characters provide a look of realism, and though reality is stiff for an animated film, it makes some of the fully-animated dance sequences seem even wilder and more frenetic by comparison.

Bakshi's 'love' scenes REALLY stink, though. Example: Male looks longingly at female...female looks back. They take off their clothes and proceed. There's not an ounce of romance in this film, so don't bother to look for it. The only real passion in this film is for the music.

See it once. But once will probably be enough.

animated movie American Pop © Columbia Pictures / Polyc International BV
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American Pop
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