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The characters and their narrative remain mostly undercooked but the quirky wool-based animation is excellent.

If you're expecting a magnificent cake to pop up somewhere in quirky Belgian animated movie Ce Magnifique Gâteau you'll be sorely disappointed, as the film borrows its title from king Leopold II, who once described the African continent as a cake he'd like a big slice of.

The Congo thus is what binds the five stories in this ultra-short anthology together, with every protagonist bar the king embarking for the Belgian colony on a peculiar personal mission. Unfortunately the characters and their narrative remain mostly undercooked.

There are some funny sidenotes - a musician who just cannot catch a break, a man who falls in love with a giant snail - but they mix poorly with the more dramatic, psychological elements, leaving you mostly bored and baffled about what point Ce Magnifique Gâteau actually wants to make.

Luckily the animation itself is excellent, with directors Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels bringing wool characters to life in quaint but effective ways. It is not nearly enough to give their film a ringing endorsement though.

release: 2018

director: Emma De Swaef, Marc James Roels

starring: Jan Decleir, Bruno Levie, Paul Huvenne, Gaston Motambo


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