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He traces images from old film footage in paint and line to create his handmade version of rotoscoping. Raxlen not only works with animation, but also with contradiction and tension and the the sorrows of the world.

Apparently, we no longer use elephants in the circus. These giants of the jungle are too sensitive and the conditions are too cruel. But animator Rick Raxlen has returned the elephant to the circus ring in We Mammals Pushy by reviving some shots from an old circus film. In it, a circle of elephants decorated with neon coloured hats and collars dance and bow at the command of a tiny woman. Rotoscoped, repeated and accompanied by strange tinkly music, We Mammals Pushy is an eerie commentary on the human propensity to turn people, animals and things into bizarre novelties in order to make a buck.

Raxlen traces the underlying injustices of the world and the joy of living into his images. On the surface Kanga vs. Werewolf appears to be more cheerful. It recalls children’s books with its simple lines and bright colours. Old cartoons and Lon Chaney’s Wolfman dance together in the time signature of a minuet. But as Kanga vs. Werewolf continues, the werewolf reappears always looking in and never included. A small girl repeatedly returns crying without explanation. (Linda Feesey)

Dir. Rick Raxlen,

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