Directed by Moon-Sang Kim/Summin Park, starring the voices of Catherine Cavadini, Marc Worden, Kirk Thornton, David Naughton, Karl Wiedergott, Rebecca Wink, Bob Papenbrook and Andrew Ableson
Moon-Sang Kim's 'Sky Blue' is a powerful and engrossing tale that combines action, romance and spectacle in a very realistic animated format.
Jay (Cavadini) is a female officer in the police force of Ecoban, a glittering organic city built to house the survivors of Earth's ecological demise, but not all the survivors. Thousands of refugees live in vast wastelands, working to mine the fuel that powers Ecoban.
Tension between the privileged citizens of Ecoban and the 'Diggers', as the workers are called, escalates when an intruder breaks into Ecoban's power system determined to use the city's power to disperse a toxic rain cloud that hides the sun and improve life for the Diggers. Charged with his arrest, Jay tracks him down and discovers that he is her long-lost friend and childhood sweetheart, Shua (Worden), whom she thought was dead.
As the unrest among the Diggers heightens, Jay and Shua meet again and Jay begins to doubt her already-shaky belief in the justice of her superiors. Her lover, Cade (Thornton), grows suspicious and soon unearths Shua's presence in her life once again; something he is determined to put a stop to at all costs.
Combining live action using miniatures, CGI and traditional 2D animation, 'Sky Blue' is a sophisticated movie that obviously challenged its makers. The animation makes it darkly atmospheric at some moments, beautifully dreamlike at others and always enthralling. If you've seen Mayazaki's 'Spirited Away', you'll be bowled over by how Kim's film takes the animation to another level.
Alongside the animation and the beautiful music, the story too will grip you. Elements of the Shakespearean infuse it with a depth rarely seen in animation. Be warned; this is not really a kid's film. 'Spirited Away' was much more suited to a young audience, but 'Sky Blue' focuses more on themes of violence and revenge.
Pixar and DreamWorks have delivered their big-budget animated features in the forms of 'The Incredibles' and 'Shrek', among others, but they really can't compare to the brilliance that is 'Sky Blue'. It will brighten your day.