Sundance 2021: “Cryptozoo”

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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The root cause of every problem is that we people can’t learn to live with those who we think do not look like us. That doesn’t necessarily mean living with strange and scary creatures but with people that do not share the same skin color, or those not rich enough, less educated, or discriminated based on gender. Just look around, don’t you find the society already ill?

“Cryptozoo” is a surprisingly intelligent animated film, sadly, not for children (don’t even try to show it to them). It centers around the titular sanctuary place for cryptid creatures to be kept safe from people. Lauren, as a human rescuer for them, holds them dear to her heart but when the gorgeous Baku, a Japanese dream-eater was stolen, Lauren must find her before the US Military does, otherwise, the beautiful power of Baku can backfire with the ability to destroy the whole world.

“Without dreams, there can be no future,” states a desperate Lauren, our main protagonist, who is joined by a humanoid creature, Phoebe, in search of Baku. Bit it all starts with Amber and Matt, who find the Cryptozoo on their sex date, not realizing that this is about to change their life forever, including Lauren’s, who dedicated her entire life to shelter creatures from other hostile beings that want to weaponize cryptids.

Filmmaker/Animator Dash Shaw invites the audience into the wondrous world of a cinematic universe that’s created for adults only. Multispecies injustice, intolerance and hunger for power is the main theme of “Cryptozoo” told in such a vibrant and mythical way. The action-packed animated film offers an unforgettable journey, rarely offered to us, and captures how powerful man is when he wants to show kindness or destroy everything around it. There is a big standoff against good and evil where the evil is not cryptids, who can protect themselves, but humans as usual, who have the dangerous disease of self-importance which it uses to embark into self-destruction without realizing it.

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