Chico & Rita

Year: 2010
Production Co: Isle of Man Film
Director: Tono Errando/Javier Mariscal/Fernando Trueba
Writer: Fernando Trueba/Ignacio Martinez de Pisón
Cast: Limara Meneses

An absolutely charming animated love story about a Cuban jazz pianist and the beautiful singer who becomes the love of his life.

After meeting in a club in the 1950s Chico and Rita spend the night together before fate, destiny and misunderstandings see them whirl out of each others' lives. Rita is angry but Chico never forgets her, not even when he becomes a famous backup player or she a Hollywood star in years to come.

It's a story of heartbreak and torment with the pair separated at opposite ends of the world for most of the story. But most gratifying of all, it's the tale of these two star cross'd lovers that grabs you, not the animation.

Not that the form factor is a gimmick. Like I last saw in When the Wind Blows, the artists have created a very alive world that moves and flexes like reality, not the two dimensionality we remember from old Bugs Bunny or Chip and Dale cartoons. The virtual camera tracks across the grimy, frozen streets of New York or the sultry heat of pre-revolutionary Cuba and the backdrops move photorealistically, even with the hand-drawn style.

The magic in the movie is in both the lovable characters and the detail in the delivery method, resulting a film much bigger than the sum of its parts.

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