‘Animation Outlaws’: Film Review

Mike Gribble, co-founder of Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation, was just 42 years old when he passed away from pancreatic cancer in 1994 — an awful case of a larger-than-life film-world figure dying before his work was done.

That probably would have been the perfect time for Kat Alioshin’s short, oh-so-adulatory “Animation Outlaws,” which plays more like a pop-art tribute video than a well-rounded documentary about Gribble and marginally less eccentric accomplice Craig Decker (aka “Spike”).As it is, the film arrives well after the world of animation has been permanently reconfigured, thanks to a rebellious CG venture known as “Toy Story” and a little innovation called the internet.

Today, it could be difficult to convince college kids — who grew up on Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, and for whom Japanese anime has moved mainstream — that there was a time just a few decades back Disney was practically the only game in town.

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