Delta Space Mission is a1984 Romanian animated film that is a welcome change of pace in today’s animation landscape. A simple science fiction tale of a computer brain that develops a crush on an alien named Alma, it is more about its visuals than any deeper message. Its visceral storytelling allows audiences to fully take in the art.
Animated films have progressed enough over the years to where they can effectively take on topical themes. While there was some of that in the 1980s, animation had not yet reached a point where people were taking it seriously. While this gradual change has been for the better; it has come at a cost. Cartoons lack some of the escapist quality they once did.
Delta Space Mission moves at a brisk pace with little care for the story. Instead, the animation rightfully takes center stage. There is a familiarity here – the animators were clearly influenced by Hanna-Barbera and Heavy Metal – but it looks smoother. The stiff animation of the 80s is nowhere to be found and the use of repeated scenes which were a trademark of the time are not seen as much.
There are also some nice scenes involving winding hallways and twisting camera shots. Delta Space Mission is constantly trying something different. Some work better than others (most of the moments involving Tin, Alma’s pet, tend to drag), but they all stand out. There was a time when kids would race home after school to watch cartoons. Delta Space Mission is a throwback to those days. The movie may not appeal to the Pixar generation, but there is a quirky charm to it.
Delta Space Mission will be available digitally April 19
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