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'Snark & Jabberwocky' a Soulful, Animated Life-Renewing Tale

Look and Listen

October 14, 1999|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Video

"The Hunting of the Snark & Jabberwocky." First Run Features. $15. (800) 488-6652; http://www.firstrunfeatures.com/.

From critically acclaimed animator Michael Sporn ("Whitewash," "Champagne and the Talking Eggs") comes a soulful little masterpiece, an animated adaptation of Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem "The Hunting of the Snark." Sporn turns the adventures of an improbable crew--among them a butcher, a baker, a barrister and a beaver--into a dreamlike, life-renewing quest that is as much for adults as for children.

With fluid dissolves, fine lines, sunbursts of color, firelight reflecting like melted butter, a curling, churning ocean, electric movement and a sense of wonder, this short film is unmistakably an artist's vision, enriched further by James Earl Jones' narration and composer Caleb Sampson's score.

"Snark" is accompanied by an almost wistful "Jabberwocky" and a short bio, "Lewis Carroll: Glimmers of a Life," animated collage-style, with montages of photographs and classic illustrations.

Audio

"Hippity Hop." Music for Little People. R275951. CD: $16. Cassette: $10. Ages 3 to 7. (800) 409-2457. http://www.mflp.com/.

If hip-hop is your kid's thing, this new collection of old and new kid-friendly songs is for them. If they're not fans, they (and parents too) might change their minds when Taj Mahal sings "Everyday People" or Eric Bibb and the Cultural Heritage Choir do "Funky Nursery Rhymes." Sheila E. and the choir's rendition of "Juba Dis and Juba Dat," and Linda Tillery's "Mary's Dancing Lamb," with a light-hearted rap treatment, are fun too. Tillery, also the producer, musical director and arranger, joins the performers--including Maria Muldaur, rapper Shinehead and child singers and young rap artists--in creating an accessible, enjoyable album.

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