"Sita Sings the Blues" is one of those multi-thread, multi-cultural vanity projects that shouldn't work, but somehow does. Producer / animator / director / writer Nina Paley manages to blend the ancient Indian myth of Ramayana with 1920s jazz provided by diva Annette Hanshaw , as told by three contemporary Indians represented as shadow puppets. Oh, and there's the side story about a San Francisco couple that suffers marital woes when the husband gets a contract in India. Whu-what?
The bright, bubbly, 2D animation plus some very clever writing pull all of these strands together brilliantly. In an era of CGI and 3D projection, it's so refreshing to see simple tools used to great effect.
The video above is one of my favorite scenes, a musical number featuring Annette Hanshaw singing "Daddy Won't You Please Come Home" as the main character Sita is visited by a magical monkey while she is in captivity. I love how that monkey walks to the music!