Mythological creature zoo film ‘Cryptozoo,’ wins Sundance award


MYSTERY WIRE — For most directors, releasing a movie that can’t currently be screened in cinemas would be an issue, but not for Dash Shaw.

Shaw and his animation director Jane Samborski – who is also his wife – won the Innovator award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which took place digitally due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking from their home in Atlanta recently, Shaw explained why their animation “Cryptozoo” works as a solo viewing experience.

“If you are doing like a very clear comedy and you want to feel that laugh in the room, then a theater is meaningful or a horror movie and everyone screams at the same time. But I actually think with ‘Cryptozoo’ that it’s kind of murkier territory and that thought that the viewer has to kind of wrestle with it and decide if something is funny or scary inside of themselves, that this experience works, works, works better for us,” he mused.

“Cryptozoo” tells the story of a zoo that cares for mythological creatures. Reviews of the movie were positive at Sundance, and it has subsequently been picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures. It will also will be shown at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival as part of the Generation section.

The movie boasts a voice cast that includes stars like Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Angeliki Papoulia and Zoe Kazan.

Shaw says it was “pretty fun” animating the vocal work of such distinctive actors.

“I think there are moments in the movie where their kind of spirit shines through the drawing,” he smiled. “Especially like Michael Cera’s in the movie and his character design is very unusual. But I still think that that there’s like little moments where you’re like, ‘oh, that’s Michael Cera’ and something about how he’s holding his hand because we video performanced, we video recorded him. So he’s also informing kind of how his body moves,” he added.

“Cryptozoo” is currently awaiting a release date.

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