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The Painting [Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack]

45 customer reviews

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(Aug 27, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this wry parable, a kingdom is divided into the three castes: the impeccably painted Alldunns who reside in a majestic palace; the Halfies who the Painter has left incomplete; and the untouchable Sketchies, simple charcoal outlines who are banished to the cursed forest. Chastised for her forbidden love for an Alldunn and shamed by her unadorned face, Halfie Claire runs away into the forest. Her beloved Ramo and best friend Lola journey after her, passing between the forbidden Death Flowers that guard the boundaries of the forest and arriving finally at the very edge of the painting where they tumble through the canvas and into the Painter s studio. The abandoned workspace is strewn with paintings, each containing its own animated world and in a feast for both the eyes and imagination, they explore first one picture and then another, attempting to discover just what the Painter has in mind for all his creations.

Special Features:

Making Of Featurette; Concept Art Slideshow; Original French Audio Track with English Subtitles; U.S. Trailer


Enchanting! This consistently enjoyable, inventive and beautifully crafted tale is a color riot suitable for all ages! A constant feast for the eyes! --Variety

An animated gem, sparkling with a thousand creative ideas! --Studio Ciné

A Wondrous Discovery! --Premiere

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Barney, Chloé Berthier, Julien Bouanich
  • Directors: Jean-Francois Laguionie
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Animated, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: New Video Group
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 2013
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,079 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This is another gem in the series of foreign animated films from GKIDS being distributed by Cinedigm. Starting with the fabulous "Chico & Rita" (a must for fans of Latin jazz) and moving on through "The Rabbi's Cat", the films (which I urge you to get on Bluray) are a joy to behold. Though "Chico and Rita" will probably remain my favorite "The Painting " by French animator Jean-Francois Laguionie may be the most artistically beautiful. I recently bought a new Hi-def TV and the Bluray discs I've been watching lately have been great but the brilliant colors in this 78-minutefilm blew everything else away! It's that captivating.

The "plot" of the film is how characters on a large canvas in an artist's studio actually are part of a caste system. There are the "Allduns" (fully finished), the "Halfies" (the characters that the artist has not yet finished) and the "Sketchies" (the ones which are only a pale outline). As a parable on modern society, we see the first group as the "wealthy", the second as the "middle class" and the third as the "downtrodden". Trust me, it will all make sense. You might find yourself - as I was - so enraptured by the artwork (which uses CGI graphics along with - in a few cases - real images) that you lose the story line and have to go back and watch the film again.

Unlike many of the other GKIDS, this film has an English audio track (as well as the original French one with subtitles), this works great.

There are a few bonus features including a 10-minute "Concept Art Slideshow" to a music score and a 30-minute-plus "Making of Featurette". I was really looking forward to the latter but haven't made it through that yet because it is in French with subtitles.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 28, 2013
Format: DVD
Just brilliant. The visual style is unequalled: hand drawing and wet media meet computerized rendering in a uncommonly successful merger. The social message is about tolerance at many levels, to the point that skin color is the least of the issues. Characters have some depth (maybe not all that much, but some) and really make you want to like them.

But, at least one serious irony inflicts itself, and in multiple ways. The Alldunns, the self-proclaimed higher caste who identify themselves by their fine rendering, elevate themselves above the mostly-finished halfies, and everyone abhors the loosely-drawn Sketchies. Well, declaring yourself superior based on some trait over which no one has any control is human enough. In this case, though, the loose and painterly style even of the Allduns looks like kindergarten scribbles compared to the hyper-realists of the 1970s and 80s, or even to the oil masters of every century up until this. For them to declare degree of finish to be degree of value simply devalues themselves, when taken in the wider context of what painting can be.

And, in a second irony, I think of Rembrandt's etchings. Central characters appear in passionate detail. Just a few inches away, minor character fade out to circle faces, dot eyes, and lines for mouths - if that. Rembrandt used degree of finish as a way to direct the viewer's attention - "Here, this matters, there's a lot to look at." The more loosely drawn characters don't detract from the composition, they define it. They are equal members in Rembrandt's compositions, and I do not feel qualified to dispute Rembrandt's judgement in creating effective imagery. I do feel qualified to defend every level of detail in his renderings - loss of any would be a loss for all.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Randall F. Miller III on August 22, 2013
Format: DVD
I'd imagine that most American critics will be tripping over themselves to sing the praises of this visually stunning French animated film. Hey, it's got a great premise AND it's subtitled, so what's not to like?

Quite a few things, unfortunately. But first, the good: this film's terrific and unusual style literally feels like a painting come to life. A handful of scenes also blend more realistic CGI and live action footage with the colorful CGI characters in a convincing, surreal manner. The story itself features a number of interesting allegories, especially the representation of class division based on appearance (sketches, half-finished drawings and finished characters), which could be substitued with the race/culture/relgion of your choice. At the end of the day, it has a good message that, thankfully, isn't just aimed directly at kids. Most American audiences equate all animation with children's movies, and I'm glad films like "The Painting" exist to prove otherwise.

So why didn't I like it more? The allegories are, at times, heavy-handed and a bit too obvious. Two of the central characters are of different "class" but fall in love (talk about predictable), and the film feels padded even at less than 80 minutes. The ending also falls flat, closing on a half-note that would feel more appropriate in a short 7-8 minute production, not a feature-length film like this.

Two other complaints, sadly, stem directly from this Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. The dialogue at times is a bit corny, but mainly because the English subtitles are simply a port of the optional English dub track. They're not a more literal translation of the original French audio (also included), which is unfotunate.
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The Painting [Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack]
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