If you’re tired of the influx of bloated Hollywood animated films being released one after another with an over-abundance of celebrity voices, toilet humor and enough distracting subplots to try and entertain without reason, you may want to delve into the world of foreign animated film. Fans of the sort of sly, intellectual humor of animated works such as Triplets of Belleville will relish in this Hungarian Academy Award nominated short by writer/director Geza M. Toth. Fresh, adorable and with a delightful twist ending that plays on our expectations (quite a feat for a film with a running time of less than five minutes), we’re already laughing only seconds into the spectacle as we watch the opera singing maestro prepare for his big performance, with the aid of his diligent and borderline obnoxious robotic assistant. While I must say that the nuances and subtle usage of both CG animation and sound effects played even better on a second viewing, it’s an amazing accomplishment for the director as zero frames are wasted and every single piece of the work, whether it be a choreographed movement, expression, whir, or the pacing itself melds together beautifully in a way that seems to make the film a mini opera of its own. Maestro is a feast for the senses and one of the most intelligent animated works around made even more impressive by its lack of dialogue and sole reliance on the medium to tell its story. Check it out for yourself!
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