Two unique and very different animated films push the limits of the art form. By KEVIN MA兩格部風 各異的動畫電影將動畫藝術的界限進一步拓闊。撰：文 馬樂民
After earning an Oscar nomination in 2015 for her animated fairy tale Song of the Sea, Ireland’s Nora Twomey and her Cartoon Saloon studio have followed up with another stunner in The Breadwinner.
Adapted from a novel by Deborah Ellis, the film – which this year also received an Oscar nomination – is an emotional tale about a family living in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, where women weren’t even allowed to be outside without a male relative. When her father is arrested on false charges, 11-year-old Parvana decides to dress up as a boy to get food and work to support her family.
Hardship is evident in the film, with barren landscapes and medieval streets hauntingly realised in Cartoon Saloon’s signature hand-drawn style, but so too is hope and endurance. Despite its depiction of a cruel time and a crueller regime, Twomey believes the film will inspire children to overcome their fears (Cartoon Saloon has also created a study guide for teachers on the film’s website).
Founded in 1972, the UK’s Aardman Animations has found success in its own animation niche: claymation. Far from being made obsolete by the wonders of CGI, Aardman’s stop-motion animations with clay figures have won Oscars and the undying love of filmgoers thanks to beautifully oddball comedies such as director Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit series and Creature Comforts.
Park and Aardman’s latest film is Early Man, a hilariously silly story about a Stone Age tribe of cavemen that challenge an advanced Bronze Age city to a game of football to save their home. Meticulously made with every individual frame physically captured on camera, Early Man is filled with visual and verbal gags that reward repeat viewings (look closely at the newspapers that appear in the film).
But it’s more than just a series of gags; Park’s idea of having Britishaccented cavemen battling against a technologically advanced society where people speak in a mix of European accents also seem to hint at his views of the postBrexit world. Those voices are supplied by the likes of Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston (speaking with a very broad French accent), Timothy Spall and Games of Thrones’ Maisie Williams.
Those looking for a real story about the origins of football can wait for the forthcoming series by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. Until then, Early Man is an offbeat fantasy that will charm kids – and football fans.
自愛爾蘭的 Nora Twomey 與來
她統領的 Cartoon Saloon 工作室，於 2015 年憑感人的童話故事《海洋之歌》入圍奧斯卡，其後再接再厲，推出動人佳作《持家小木蘭》。
這部作品改編自 Deborah Ellis 的小說，今年同樣獲得卡奧斯 提；名 故事講述阿富汗受塔利班控制的，年代 一個家庭的悲慘遭遇。當時阿富汗女性如沒有男性親屬陪伴，就離出不能 家外。當歲11 的 Parvana得知爸爸被誣告入獄後，決便 定偽裝成男孩，外出張羅食物打和 工來養。家
影在片 Cartoon Saloon 獨特手的 繪畫風下，處處刻劃生活的，的艱苦 貧瘠 阿富汗土地及中世紀的大街小巷滲透出淒涼的氣氛。儘管故事描述苦難的時代及殘暴的政權，電影亦流露出希望與忍耐。Twomey 深信電影能夠勉勵小孩克服大大小小的恐懼及艱難，因此 Cartoon Saloon 亦於為電影而設的網站內提供學習手冊，教供 師使用。
Aardman Animations是英國動畫製作公司，於1972 年成立，以別具一格的黏土動畫而廣受歡迎。電腦合成影像雖然無所不能，然而Aardman以黏土模型製作的定格動畫並沒有因此而遭淘汰，由 Nick Park執導的《超級無敵掌狗門 》及《Creature Comforts》短片系列，同時贏得奧斯卡大獎及大量忠實的。影迷
Park 和 Aardman 推出的最新力作是《超級無敵世界波，》講述石器時代穴居部族為拯家救 園，向先較進的銅青時城下代 市戰書，在足球場較上一 高下，劇情極盡滑稽惹笑。動畫以攝影機逐格拍攝而成，製作一絲不苟，不論是畫面及對白均充滿笑料，值得再三回味（記得仔細留電心 影中出報現的紙內容）。
但這部動畫片並非只由連串的笑料推砌。而成 Park 安排說話帶英國口音的穴居人部落，決戰科技較先進帶、 多種歐洲口音的部族，似乎暗示他對英國脫歐後世界形勢的看法。為片本 配音的紅星括 Eddie Redmayne、Tom Hiddleston（帶有濃重的法國口音）、Timothy Spall及《權力遊戲》的Maisie Williams。
若想了解足球的真正起源，敬請留意由劇集《唐頓園莊 》創作人 Julian Fellowes執筆的下一部作品。，不過 在新劇集場上 之前，《超級無敵世界波》絕對是個上佳的足球電影之選；這個不落俗套的奇幻故事，定能讓孩子甚至足球迷都大為傾。倒
Inner strength A young girl searches for hope in The Breadwinner (left); cavemen learn to play football in Early Man (above) 自強不息家境困苦的小女孩在《持家小木蘭》（左圖）中追希；尋 望 穴居人在《超級無世敵 界波》（上圖）中努力學踢足球