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By Merle Bertrand | February 19, 2000

Luz’ world is a gloomy one; a shadow-filled black and white neighborhood that seems to make her sad even as she plays. When her mother calls her home, she approaches the house reluctantly, only to wander away towards an area filled with wondrous color (think “Pleasantville”). Eventually, she enters a movie theater where she finds herself on screen approaching her home. As her mom continues to beckon, Luz crawls into the screen and the cycle begins anew. Jose Javier Martinez’ melancholy animation makes up in looks what it lacks in plot; the highly detailed world he’s created easily passing for a “Nightmare Before Christmas” neighborhood. Although Luz herself, a gangly creature with limbs resembling pipe cleaners, garners plenty of empathy with her big, expressive eyes, “Luz” the movie would have been more interesting if its animated star had done more than just walk around in a trans-dimensional circle.

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