The Time Masters (1982)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Sci-Fi Action, Space Adventure  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - Switzerland, Germany, France  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Time Masters is a rollicking animated sci-fi adventure that, if not without its flaws, still makes for entertaining viewing. Fans of acclaimed comic book artist Jean Girard (also known as Moebius) will definitely want to give Time a look, as he has had a big hand in designing the picture, and it shows in several places, such as the look of the heroes' space machine. Indeed, much of the background art is spectacular, giving the film a convincing "other worldly" look that is crucial to its success. Much of the animation, however, is not on the same level, apparently the result of budgetary restrictions and of a need to farm out animation to a number of different teams, who do not seem to have had comparable levels of skill. Thus, sequences which heavily feature the characters of Piel, Yul and Jad are quite good; those focusing on Jaffar and Belle are sometimes shockingly poor. The screenplay is overly episodic, with the "time masters" segment very poorly set up. That said, Rene Laloux directs with an eye toward lighthearted, old school adventure but with a touch of modernism, and he keeps the excitement level up so that the screenplay flaws are forgivable. Geared toward younger audiences than Laloux' other full-length works, Time will still be enjoyed by adults looking for a stylish way to pass a little time in another world.