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By Phil Hall | January 19, 2014

Filmmaker Fraser Munden takes a cue from the Oscar-nominated Israeli film “Waltz with Bashir” in crafting this documentary that incorporates recordings of real-life with stylized animated recreations of the recalled events. In this case, the film highlights a 1973 incident at a school dance in Montreal that was invaded by a raucous motorcycle gang. Ralph Whims and Stefan Czernatowicz, the teacher/chaperone and DJ at the dance, detail their reactions to the bikers’ intrusion – and without spoiling too much, it can be said that the bikers picked the wrong party to visit.

This short film uses over 10,000 hand drawings, along with puppetry and very obvious miniature sets, to bring the incident to life. But while Whims and Czernatowicz are charming raconteurs, the mix of animation and nonfiction filmmaking feels like a well-worn gimmick instead of a genuinely fresh approach to an offbeat story. “The Chaperone” tries to be clever, but it merely ends up as being mundane.

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