(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CRYPTOZOO: CRYPTOZOO is animated, but it is definitely not a children's film. The animation is of a style reminiscent of that used in FANTASTIC PLANET, although the visuals are sometimes incoherent. The film's premise is that the world is full of magical creatures which stay hidden, some inspired by Russian folklore, some by Greek, some by Japanese, and so on. [The "pliny", by the way, is from the Blemmyae in Pliny the Elder's "Natural History".] The main character is an Army brat in Okinawa visited by a dream-eating baku. The United States military wants to use the baku to remove the dreams of the counter-culture, and has set up a whole prison for them and other creatures is hidden behind a fence. Opposing them is someone who wants to set up a sanctuary for the creatures, but it needs to be "tourist-friendly" to pay for itself. The setting ends up looking like a Disneyworld for cryptids and non-cryptids. The viewer is given instructions. For example, we should remember that it is not only the attractive creatures that are intelligent, "the Bambis can't defend themselves but wolves ... wolves know the deal", and "utopias never work out."

Released theatrically 08/20/21; available on various streaming services. Rating: +1 (-4 to +4), or 6/10.

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					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2021 Mark R. Leeper