Whether you are a longtime fan of the work of Canada's Frederic Back, or you are just discovering the masters of animation, you'll both be equally and incredibly pleased with this four-disc anthology. Nine films are included: Abracadabra, Inon or the Conquest of Fire, The Creation of Birds, Illusion?, Taratata!, All Nothing, Crac!, The Mighty River and The Man Who Planted Trees -- as well as several insightful interviews and a documentary retrospective of the life and work of Frederic Back. All are presented beautifully, with each film looking and sounding fresh and well-cared for.
But beyond the presentation, these films (particularly The Man Who Planted Trees, Illusion? and The Mighty River) get to the heart of environmentalism and stewardship. They are not shrill or glib, not reactive or stalely didactic -- these films are awash with animism and life, each using this unique medium to exhalt the beauty of creation, and to exemplify the folly of excess. Back's impressionistic style flows like a river itself, rolling and moving and churning, urging us to face the simple truths of our abuses, and to consider the possibility of a more harmonious course.
I'll stop there, because I'm afraid I'm making Back's work sound contrived. Walt Disney once said that a true animated film could not be put into words, and he was right. I can only urge you to see these truly remarkable films, and to share them with the youngest generations.