'Light Years," a new French film at the Nuart and Rialto theaters through Saturday, accomplishes something no other animated feature has done: It makes Saturday-morning kidvid look good.
It's difficult to know just where to assign the blame, as the credits list five directors, a technical director, four creative consultants, a creator-animator, a writer-adapter who works only in English and an "original screenplay translator." Despite this plethora of leaders, "Light Years" has no direction, no focus and no coherent story line.
The action takes place on the peaceful planet of Gandahar: We know it's peaceful because we see a lot of bare-breasted natives picking fruit, tending their flocks and breast-feeding weird little animals. This pastoral idyll is shattered when a troop of nasty black robots attacks, zapping the natives into statues with their ray guns.
The heroic Sylvain is sent to fight the attackers single-handed. When he learns that the robots have come from the future, he goes to sleep for 1,000 years--so he can counterattack after they've conquered Gandahar: The only way to prevent the invasion from starting is to stop it after it's ended. (Got that?)