|Still from The Painting|
I still wanted my students to participate in something meaningful, educational, and art-based. But, I loathe showing them some dull (and, c'mon, you know they're dull) Art video/cartoon about some dead, European, White, guy. The aesthetic of the cartoons are too juvenile for my Middle School aged students, and they definitely aren't sophisticated enough, content-wise, to speak to them.
I came across this fantastic little jewel of an animated movie, The Painting. It works in character education, social justice, Art, artistic elements, and animation all into one, sweet, beautiful, work. You can rent it for three days on Amazon for $3.99 or buy a streaming version of it for $9.99. It is well worth the price. I intend to keep showing my students little snippets of it as the year progresses.
Here is the review from Fandango:
Director Jean-François Laguionie crafted this rich, artist parable set in a world of classical paintings, where one woman's imperfections have rendered her a social outcast. In a kingdom of extraordinary color, society has been split into three castes: the Allduns, who have been completed by the Painter, dwell in sprawling mansions at the top; the Halfies, who have been left somewhat incomplete, are the commoners; and at the bottom are the wretched Sketchies -- crude charcoal scribbles that have been cast off into the cursed forest. Castigated for her love of noble Alldun Ramo, heartbroken Halfie Claire vanishes into the forest. Meanwhile, Ramo and Lola set out to find Claire, braving the dreaded Death Flowers at the edge of the forest and eventually crossing through the canvas into the Painter's abandoned studio. Now with each new painting these intrepid explorers enter, they come one step closer to understanding what the Painter had envisioned for them when he first put brush to canvas.