'The Day of the Crows' (France)

**1/2 (out of four)<br>
A young boy hurls a fork like a spear, killing a fly so he can eat it. This kid, known only as "Son," is not exactly civilized. That's because he's been raised in the forest by his brutish father, who always insisted that if the youngster ventured into the World Beyond, he'd disappear. In this French animated effort sometimes recalling both Miyazaki ("Spirited Away") and Chomet ("The Triplets of Belleville"), Son leaves the forest to find help after his dad suffers a leg injury that knocks him unconscious. The story's always a little too familiar and gently paced to connect with viewers, particularly in its similarities to countless tales of kids sheltered from the world and uncouth beings learning how to coexist with society. Yet with voice work from Jean Reno ("The Da Vinci Code") and the late Claude Chabrol, "Crows" benefits from hand-drawn imagery that frequently falls on the sweet side of weird, such as the supernatural human-bodies-with-animal-heads that Son sees and speaks with in his continued effort to find love and support. His father painlessly eating a plate after he finishes what's on it, however, may teach young viewers the wrong message about a hearty appetite.<br>
See it: 4:45 p.m. Oct. 14 ($11-$14), 1 p.m. Oct. 9 ($5), 12:15 p.m. Oct. 20 ($11-$14)
redeye-reviews-2012-chicago-international-film-003

( September 24, 2012 )

**1/2 (out of four)
A young boy hurls a fork like a spear, killing a fly so he can eat it. This kid, known only as "Son," is not exactly civilized. That's because he's been raised in the forest by his brutish father, who always insisted that if the youngster ventured into the World Beyond, he'd disappear. In this French animated effort sometimes recalling both Miyazaki ("Spirited Away") and Chomet ("The Triplets of Belleville"), Son leaves the forest to find help after his dad suffers a leg injury that knocks him unconscious. The story's always a little too familiar and gently paced to connect with viewers, particularly in its similarities to countless tales of kids sheltered from the world and uncouth beings learning how to coexist with society. Yet with voice work from Jean Reno ("The Da Vinci Code") and the late Claude Chabrol, "Crows" benefits from hand-drawn imagery that frequently falls on the sweet side of weird, such as the supernatural human-bodies-with-animal-heads that Son sees and speaks with in his continued effort to find love and support. His father painlessly eating a plate after he finishes what's on it, however, may teach young viewers the wrong message about a hearty appetite.
See it: 4:45 p.m. Oct. 14 ($11-$14), 1 p.m. Oct. 9 ($5), 12:15 p.m. Oct. 20 ($11-$14)

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