Initially shot with live actors on digital film and edited into a final version, "Waking Life" was then reinterpreted by artists individually assigned to animate the film's characters using an interpolated rotoscoping technique, specially designed for the project, that essentially paints over the original image. The result is fluid, impressionistic drawings--eyes float off heads, backgrounds shift constantly--that feels unexpectedly real and ultimately adds to the exchanges taking place, literally illustrating what is being said in the scene.
Not destined for the mainstream--nor probably intended for it--"Waking Life" is an interesting, entertaining experiment in animation for those who have the privilege of seeing it. Voiced by Wiley Wiggins. Directed and written by Richard Linklater. Produced by Anne Walker-McBay, Tommy Pallotta, Palmer West and Jonah Smith. A Fox Searchlight release. Animated. Not yet rated. Running time: 97 min