Animation That Really Seems Alive

November 4, 2000 | Source: New York Times

BRAVE new “CyberWorld”! In the latest attraction from Imax, golden heads fly by in formation on golden wings through clouds of rods and cones that disperse like shimmering liquid. The patriarch of “The Simpsons” slips into the universe of “that wheelchair guy,” and falls down a black hole. Wondrous moments, and who cares about continuity? This is 3-D, for heaven’s sake. Let’s not get all linear.

Sailing in the wake of Disney’s “Fantasia/2000,” which scaled up traditional, two- dimensional animation to the format of the eight-story screen, “CyberWorld” masquerades as the 3-D “Fantasia”: a state-of-the- art sound-and-light show that pops into the third dimension. But whereas both the original “Fantasia” and the recent sequel were episodic feature films built from scratch, “CyberWorld” is in effect a composite trailer for the uncharted future of a medium-in- progress.