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Fimfarum 2

Another beguiling portmanteau of animated shorts from the work of late Czech storyteller Jan Werich via the hands of returning helmers Aurel Klimt and Vlasta Pospisilova, "Fimfarum 2" will join its 2003 predecessor "Jan Werich's Fimfarum"-- a nonsense phrase-- as de rigeur programming for toonfests, mature kiddie confabs and appropriate ancillary.

Another beguiling portmanteau of animated shorts from the work of late Czech storyteller Jan Werich via the hands of returning helmers Aurel Klimt and Vlasta Pospisilova, “Fimfarum 2” will join its 2003 predecessor “Jan Werich’s Fimfarum”– a nonsense phrase– as de rigeur programming for toonfests, mature kiddie confabs and appropriate ancillary.

First of the quartet is Jan Balej’s “Why, Uncle, Is the Sea So Salty?,” an edgy parable of being careful what you wish for. In Pospisilova’s charming “Three Sisters and One Ring,” sibs conspire to imaginatively humiliate their respective husbands. “The Hunchbacks of Damascus,” from anthology instigator Aurel Klimt, flirts with racial stereotyping but is an absorbing fable. Bretislav Pojar’s “Tom Thumb” is a reverent telling of that tale. Clever political content will go over tykes’ heads, but give taller auds a taste of Werich’s anarchistic and humanist worldview. Success of the first collection after 15 years of labor led to an accelerated production sked for the second, which cleverly mixes stop-motion and other animation styles. Charming credit sequence finds characters from each chestnut gathered for a literal curtain call. Fleeting puppet nudity may give pause to the ultraconservative.

Fimfarum 2

Czech Republic

Production: A Falcon release (in the Czech Republic) of a Maur Film production, in association with Universal Production Partners, Czech TV, Kratky Film, Michael Samuelson Lighting. Produced by Martin Vandas, Aurel Klimt. Directed by Jan Balej, Aurel Klimt, Vlasta Pospisilova, Bretislav Pojar. Screenplay, Balej, Klimt, Jiri Kubicek, Pojar.

Crew: Reviewed on DVD, Sydney, Australia, April 15, 2006. (In Finale Plzen Film Festival -- competing.) Original title: Fimfarum Dve. Running time: 97 MIN.

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