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A quick checklist proves that 1999 was really the year of the animated feature
By Richard von Busack
Compare the performance by an overwrought Julianne Moore in Magnolia to the acting of Jessie the cowgirl in Toy Story 2, with her heart-breaking terror of being sent back to the Salvation Army donation box.
Compare Jim Carrey's hedged-bet niceness in Man on the Moon to the roundly mean shock tactics of Cartman in South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Cartman, like the real Andy Kaufman, is the kind of bravura comedian who doesn't care a fig if he's perceived as sympathetic or not.
Compare the feral heroine of Princess Mononoke, a sharp, bloody image of female power, to the zonked Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted.
Compare the massive sorrows of The Iron Giant to the other sagging male action heroes, even the iron giant Arnold Schwarzenegger (who was good in End of Days but not as good as that fine robot).
All four films prove that 1999 was the best of times for animation.
By the way, Fantasia/2000 opens Jan. 1. It's so completely in the Disney it-is-what-it-is tradition that it can make either best-of or worst-of for next year's lists--if there is a next year. It is especially recommended for those who really want to see Bette Midler 75 feet tall, which of course sounds so much like South Park that it's scary.
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From the December 30, 1999-January 5, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.
Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.
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