Distributed by Auryn, Inc., 6033 W Century Blvd # 808, Los Angeles CA 90045; 310-649-4278
Produced by Auryn Inc.
Directed by Umesh Shukla
DVD, color, 21 min.
Animation, Art, Art History, Art Appreciation, Education, Storytelling
Reviewed by Deidra N. Herring, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Date Entered: 6/30/2009
Two heartfelt, charming stories share the lives of famous French and Dutch painters, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. The production provides viewers with a unique look at the use of amazing digital animation that bring characters and natural settings to life. Reproductions of oil on canvas come to life using bright, moving colors illustrating styles created in the Impressionism era.
The DVD is a great way to introduce young students to the significant contributions made by famous artists during the 1800’s. Young audiences will enjoy the visual appeal in Almond Blossoms with illustrations from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” The enchanting story is told by a young girl who befriends Vincent and finds she has more in common with him than she realizes. In Winter Still also offers great storytelling and narration capturing a brilliant artist who loved painting scenes from his beautiful garden during the warm seasons. Unfortunately, the next spring never comes and winter magically remains in Monet’s garden. This is all because of the selfish nature of a gardener and his unwillingness to allow children to visit without Monet’s knowledge.
The video is digitally mastered and of high picture and sound quality which includes soothing music complementing each piece. Navigation from the main menu to the biographies and stories are easy, however, bios provide extensive background information about the artists but do not particularly discuss the painting techniques used.
Both films have received the Parents’ Choice Silver Honor and are highly recommended for school and public library collections.