November 26, 2013





  • SKU: ART12
  • UPC: 854555004286
  • ISBN: 9781939196156
  • COUNTRY: Spain
  • RATING: Not rated
  • YEAR: 2012
  • LENGTH: 94 Minutes (Feature) 35 Minutes (Bonus)
  • AUDIO: Catalan with English subtitles and English, 5.1 Surround
  • ASPECT RATIO: 2.35:1
  • COLOR: Color
  • BONUS MATERIAL: Making of featurette, The Bear Truth – a short film, Animals – a short film by Marcal Fores, Audio commentary with Director Marcal Fores and Travis Crawford, 8-page collectible booklet, Official Animals Trailer, Trailers




An unconventional coming-of-age tale, Animals is an intoxicating blend of fantasy and cold reality. Seventeen-year-old high-schooler Pol has stubbornly extended his childhood, aided in no small measure by his opinionated, drums-playing, English-speaking pet teddy bear, Deerhoof. But when he meets alluring new student Icari, the safety of Pol’s innocent imagination crumbles as he experiences his first pangs of love and sexual longing. But what will happen to Deerhoof in this new world and can Pol accept his new-found feelings? Co-starring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) as his perceptive teacher, this fresh, inventive take on first love is funny, often bizarre and tragically intense.


Director: Marçal Forés
Running time: 94 minutes
Country: Spain
Language: English, Catalan
Screenwriters: Marçal Forés, Enric Pardo, Aintza Serra
Cast: Oriol Pla, Augustus Prew, Dimitri Leonidas, Roser Tapias, Javier Beltrán, Martin Freeman
Producers: Sergi Casamitjana, Lita Roig, Aintza Serra

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Spanish filmmaker Marçal Forés’s stunning debut feature Animals (2012), screening twice this year at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival, is a cerebral and often troubling meditation on alienated youth struggling against the horrific paradigm shift into adulthood. The film has been compared to Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (2001), and it features scenes that match that film’s occasional slippage into the more nightmarish aspects of teen reality. Yet, where Kelly’s storytelling pivots largely around his film’s unique time-travel concept, the dreamlike narrative of Animals is decidedly more experimental, often propelled by the associative logic of daydreams that renders the reality of the film as a near-totalizing projection of the psyche of its protagonist, Pol (played by Oriol Pla). The better comparison for Animals may be to poetic films about haunted youth that resonate with a touch of the fantastic-uncanny, such as Sophia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1999), Gus Van Sant’s Elephant (2003), or—going further back—Herk Harvey’s Carnival of Souls (1962) and Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975). [Read the entire article here!]



Animals plays like a dark, coming of age story by way of Michel Gondry. Writer/Director Marçal Forés creates a strange vibe that kind of lulls viewers into a hypnotic trance filled with adolescent growing pains, sexuality and the pains of losing innocence to a vicious world. Filled with wonderfully raw music, “Animals” covers a lot of bases without becoming convoluted or preachy. There is a challenge to the movie as it is setup in a way that promotes viewer interpretation, but it is never overly puzzling. Pol’s experience is fairly straightforward, but has a few bunny trails that is likely to generate banter for a group who watches this hauntingly charming little movie. It is perfectly acceptable to relate to numerous characters. We have all experienced the different angles presented in Animals – either with the misunderstood Pol, the aggressive love from Llorenc, the compassionate adoration of Laia, the distance of Ikari or the third wheel feel of Mark. Bringing them all together and throwing a talking teddy bear into the mix creates a dreamy world. Animals is a fantasy set in our reality. It is a movie where Pol is the clear centerpiece, but all characters have enough depth to create a well-rounded, personal movie that is open ended, approachable and filled with replay value. [Read the entire article here!]



ANIMALS is a coming-of-age film but it cannot be summed up that simply. It is far greater than the sum of its parts. This is the story of growing up, learning the gravity and consequences of every choice you make and learning to stay true to yourself while holding the people you love closer and not letting go. And that growing up doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself This movie is smart, funny, insightful and features some beautiful images. There is a strong resemblance to the Marky Mark film Ted here, and it isn’t too far away from that, just without he weed and fart jokes. Really though, ANIMALS transcends the high school age of its cast, who are simply fantastic in their roles from top to bottom, and will resonate with viewers of all ages as something that you can really latch on to and take something away from. This is a great film. [Read the entire article here!]



Directed by Marçal Forés in 2012, Animals is a coming of age fairytale of sorts, one that blends elements of the fantastic with a relatable real world experience and which has a strange artistic sensibility behind it, the kind that makes all of this completely engrossing. [Read the entire article here!]


Animals is fucking beautiful, period. It’s a completely different take on teen angst and confusion. The screenplay is amazing, the cinematography is gorgeous, and the performances are downright wonderful. While Animals may be a dark comedy drama fantasy something-or-other, it’s end result is a well executed movie. I was fully engaged. At moments, you’re given the impression that this was written from the perspective of someone who struggled with their own identity at one point. Be it their sexual identity or just who they were at all, the surrealism in Animals is used as a metaphor for some very personal ideas being exorcised. It’s not often a character takes me to such a personal place, but when they do, it stays with you. I cannot recommend this movie enough. [Read the entire article here!]


Animals is the feature film debut from Marçal Forés that takes the innocence of youth and the uncertain fear and wonder about growing up and maturing. This film thrusts us in and out of a world that borders on reality and fantasy and the parting of a cherished toy that defined your early years. Where the trailer looks like a serious Ted, the way this film plays out comes across as almost a dramatic bittersweet coming of age Donnie Darko. [Read the entire article here!]



One of my favorite film techniques is when “fantasy” and “reality,” as the audience perceives them, are so intertwined that the distinction itself becomes meaningless. You know what I mean. This could be a film in which there are fantastical elements, and it is unclear if they are happening or if they are dreams. It can also be a way to see into the imaginary life of a character. The audience knows that what we are seeing and hearing is what the character is seeing and hearing. What we do not know is, if we were somehow there, we would experience them as well. Why does this appeal to me so much? There are a few reasons, both personal and philosophical. In relation to this wonderful Spanish film, Animals, it highlights a fact that often escapes us in film as a way of storytelling. Too often we lose a truth: what is “happening” in a story (or our lives) is not just what we can see or record. Our interior world, our emotions and imaginations, our hopes and fears, are all happening simultaneously along with anything we might call “events”. [Read the entire article here!]


Using Burns’ Black Hole as a central reference point in terms of moods and metaphors, Forés echoes the graphic novel’s keen perspective of the potential darkness of sexual awakening and emotional maturation. Forés paints Pol’s portrait of adolescent angst with a discordant indie rock soundtrack (Deerhoof is named after one of Pol’s favorite bands) and Eduard Grau’s (A Single Man, Finisterrae) subtly menacing cinematography; occasionally lightening up the tone a bit with some humor, courtesy of the Teddy Bear. Bridges, tunnels, lakes and forests all play prevalent roles in the landscape of Pol’s life, signifying the Sisyphean repetitiousness of his tumultuous journey into adulthood. It is also not without purpose that Pol is surrounded by wildlife, as humans are just another breed of animal in Forés’ world; though humans are much, much stranger and crazier. [Read the entire article here!]



In the opening moments of Marçal Forés’ deliberately oblique, subtly fantastical coming-of-age parable, Animals, wildlife is juxtaposed with the lights and cement of human life. A girl, later known as Clara (Maria Rodríguez), awakens from a haze to jump in the water with a group of girls, disappearing for a short time only to emerge on the other side of the lake, much to the confusion and terror of those around her. [Read the entire article here!]


Troubled teens and a talking teddy bear populate the bizarre world of Animals, Catalan helmer Marcal Fores’ shimmering, ambitious debut. This stylishly wrought item shuttles between fantasy and realism a la Donnie Darko in its exploration of its protag’s problematic emotional life, although too much of the lead character’s delicate, self-regarding preciousness spills over into the film itself. But while the last half-hour has an anything-goes air, there’s still enough verve and quality in the early reels – including some wonderfully dreamy atmospherics — to suggest that Fores is one to watch. Limited fest pickups are likely. [Read the entire article here!]



Pol, the seventeen year-old protagonist of the fantastical and beguiling supernatural coming-of-age film ANIMALS, sits entranced in a darkened classroom as his teacher and a mysterious new transfer student debate a slide of Francisco Goya’s famous etching “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.”

To the teacher, the image of Goya face down on his desk surrounded by menacing owls, bats, and a cat straight out of Greek mythology central casting is all metaphor—primarily “fear of death,” as one might expect. The student, however, sees it differently: “Who is to say Goya didn’t actually see those things,” he says, “even if no one else did?” [Read the entire article here!]



Marçal Forés was born in Barcelona in ​​1981 and by 1999 decided to devote his life to film. He graduated Barcelona’s National Film & Television School and has directed several music videos as well as two shorts: Yeah Yeah Yeah (2004; winner: The International Jury Award at Brief Encounters 2005, and selections at the Toronto, Brooklyn, Raindance and Manchester film festivals.) and Friends Forever (Amigos Para Siempre, 2007) and the television film, The Things I Haven’t Told You (2008). Animals is his feature film debut.