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It’s nice to see an eco-themed movie that doesn’t paint humanity as the enemy. Instead, this movie delineates the careful balance between the opposing forces of new life and decay. Call it Creation versus Entropy with both sides cleverly anthropomorphized into tiny civilizations. Although basic science dictates that you need both forces held in balance to have a healthy environment, it’s more fun to have the Boggans be the bad guys, characterized by mold, fungus, and fetid stagnation. The Leafmen, noble warriors loosely based on Japan’s Samurai, are the good guys and are on constant guard against the encroachment of rot in the forest. This is a highly creative story about an eccentric scientist trying to capture proof of his wild (but accurate) theory and his typical teenage daughter who falls into the mysterious world of the Leafmen by magic. Gorgeous animation, a fantastic soundtrack courtesy of the great Danny Elfman (Men in Black, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands), and an eclectic mix of characters voiced by very talented actors (Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Beyonce Knowles, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Steven Tyler and Jason Sudeikis, to name a few) make this a beautiful tapestry of drama, humor and emotion without being overly saccharine, cutesy or preachy. Funny, engaging and heartfelt, I really liked it and immediately purchased the DVD and soundtrack. Highly recommended for persons of any age, this is so much better than the usual silly and often trite children’s animated fare and I would love to see a sequel. – BETHANY

For information on the cast, crew and production details, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0848537/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

Kooky professor Bomba, voiced by Jason Sudeikis.  Just what every 17 year old girl wants in a father.

The tiny Leafmen on their hummingbird steeds.

Ronin, leader of the Leafmen (Colin Farrell)

                          Being newly small changes one’s perspective.  Mary Katherine, or MK as she prefers to be called (Amanda Seyfried).

It pays to be able to blend in.

         MK and cocky Leafman Nod (Josh Hutcherson)

Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles)

Consulting the scrolls of convivial Nim Galuu (Steven Tyler, the big glowworm in the center).

(elmatpe.tumblr.com)

Dagda and his father Mandrake, leader of the Boggans (voiced by Christoph Waltz, who also played the part in the German dubbed version).

Photos courtesy of Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox Animation

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