Friday Video: Bruno Bozetto

Bruno Bozetto’s kitty does a sad waltz through memories.

This Friday’s video is a exquisite segment from 1976’s ALLEGRO NON TROPPO, written, directed, and produced by the great Italian director, Bruno Bozzetto.

The film is a surreal and irreverent parody of Disney’s FANTASIA and, like the Disney classic, is an anthology of short films that matches moving images with classical music to tell a tight story or evoke a mood in the course of a few minutes. The colorful animated segments are framed by black and white live action behind-the-scenes interludes featuring an enslaved “animator”(played by Italian comic actor, Maurizio Nichetti), the “orchestra,” comprised of octogenarian women, most of whom are one high note away from the grave, a bullying conductor, and a slick, glib announcer who has never heard of this “Prisney” fellow.

When this film was initially released wide in the U.S., I was immediately smitten and saw it seven times during its original run, often dragging friends and family to see it. In a just world, this film would have launched Bozetto’s feature film career, but it flopped. He returned to doing animated shorts and continues to animate. Ah, but what could have been.

While some ALLEGRO NON TROPPO segments go for a laugh, others tackled deeper ideas and commentary or matched the emotions of the music with animated imagery. That’s exactly what this video does with the Sad Waltz by Jean Sibelius.