ALLEGRO NON TROPPO
Directed by BRUNO BAZZETTO
With: MAURIZIO NICHETTI, NESTOR GARAY, MAURIZIO MICHELI
The Super Features are its subtle thank you to Walt Disney's FANTASIA. You don't have to copy to do it well and right.
There are a few films that are all cartoons and they are often good, but have had trouble finding an audience, specially if they are not quite for children. Maybe they are for teenagers and adults. Maybe they were just a film for the film maker ... his vision of something or other. But that's like saying that Walt Disney's Fantasia was not the same thing?
ALLEGRO NON TROPPO is a beautiful series of cartoon spoofs set to classical music, interspersed with some rather hmmm, hmmm, comedy bits in between the sketches. The sketches are between the cartoonist, the orchestra conductor and the players of the music, which happens to be a group of elderly ladies. All very Italian in the comedy, and kinda weak, but makes one wish that they had used someone like John Belushi as the conductor to make the whole thing more memorable ... wait ... this film preceeds that era!
But the cartoons are outstanding.
Featuring the music of Debussy (Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun), Dvorak (Slavonic Dance No. 7), Ravel (Bolero), Sibelius (Valse Triste), Vivaldi (Concerto in C Minor) and a piece from Stravinsky (The Firebird), these all add up to a visual interpretation of these musical classics that is extremely good, I would even venture to say much better than Walt disney's version. At least, it is better because it isn't just a fanciful, and spirited, attempt to attract the kiddies. It is much more sophisticated, and better thought out from a writing standpoint. Of course, it is easier to say that when Mr. Disney has already set a standard some forty years prior to the release of this film.
The standout pieces are:
Debussy .... This cartoon is about an aging satyr attempting to rekindle his old flame, only to fall prey to his aging.
Dvorak .... The funniest piece, a great attack on the morality, or immorality of the monkey copycats of the twentieth century.
Ravel .... Rather difficult to explain, but it is about the creation, and growth of man through out history from the prehistoric days to a modern freeway.
Sibelius ... A really sad, and magical piece about a kitty remembering his better days before the war destroyed his home.
Vivaldi ... Very funny cartoon about a very independent, and vindictive, Mrs. Bee, trying to enjoy her gourmet breakfast.
Stravinsky .... A piece about a snake and its mistake when it ate Adam's apple and became cursed with the history of man and modern madness.
All in all, this is an exceptional film worth seeing, if it comes around or is released in video (I bought it) to various stores.
It really has a more direct connection with the music than what Fantasia appeared to have for me. The cartoonist actor, is Maurizio Nichetti, who went on to make THE ICICLE THIEF. Maurizio made his fame by putting together commercials with a comedy edge to them in Italy.
GOOD CLEAN FUN FOR THE KIDS, TOO, ALBEIT A SOME PIECES ARE NOT EXACTLY FOR KIDS.
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