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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Art > Politics > History > Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (2012/First Run DVD)

Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (2012/First Run DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: B- Documentary: A-

Tomi Ungerer a maverick among those who consider themselves children's book authors and illustrators. He is both admired by his peers, and outcasted by his critics, but who was he? Take a journey back into the past to see and understand how he became the man he is in Brad Bernstein's Far Out Isn't Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (2012), which is getting some serious buzz this awards season. While his work with children's books has always been accepted, his political comics have ranged from shocking to funny, but his most extreme work has the core of conservatives and even blacklisted him in the art community, but in the end is he just perverted children's book artist or a genius of art and pictures?

Ungerer is not your average children's book writer or artist. While he is best known for his children's books, but not as known about his interest into the erotic and sexuality. To understand him is you need to understand his past, he was a survivor of the World War. He grew up under both German and French oppression and his childhood was brutal. He believed that children learned through extremes and should be scared of the world out there. Ungerer then came to America to express his ideas and his art in political cartoons, and books, particular his works were against discrimination, war and if nationalism let to war then it was no better than extreme fascism, in particularly America in the 1960s. Then he became blacklisted for nearly a quarter century for his work in sexual freedom in eroticism, but afterwards was exonerated and honored for his works after others realized his work was art and not pornography.

This was a very interesting biography/film. It tells the eyes and story of a children's book artist, but it doesn't mean everything is blue skies, balloons and rainbows, instead he took characters that were scary and made them loveable. He had anti-war sentiments and stood with minorities, which isn't too surprising if one understands his past. In the end, his views shows and teaches the world how to laugh at things, and being extreme isn't so bad, but to live and learn from both. I would highly recommend this to those with opens minds (or if not, I would recommend it anyway).

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is consistent throughout with only minor flaws, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mix is on the clear side throughout. Extras include Tomi Ungerer & Jules Feiffer at The Society of Illustrators, Maurice Sendak Critiques The King's Speech, Tomi Ungerer in Ireland, Deleted Scenes and a Feature Length Director's Commentary.

- Ricky Chiang


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