Suspended Animation comes to the Texas Theatre

17th Dallas International Film Festival

By Ben Bright
A new series has begun at the historic Texas Theatre, and it is a wild experience!

Suspended Animation.

Suspended Animation is a new offering within the historic venue’s programming.

Suspended Animation is available next on, Thursday, September 28th catering to weird, wild, surreal, and imaginative animated features curated by fellow Texas Theatre programmer and voice acting virtuoso, Chris Gardener, who also according to his Twitter profile, practices criminal law as well.

The block is focused on unique animated features to probe the mind, tantalize the senses, and penetrate the soul with features handpicked by Gardener himself to be shown monthly with wild and idiosyncratic animated shorts as an appetizer preceding the main feature entree of the evening.

The first installment in the new series that will hopefully stick around for a long time to come was the 1973 Palme d’Or winning film, The Fantastic Planet about an unnamed planet in the universe where humans (or human-like creatures, called Oms) are subjugated to living in the forests outside of the barriers of a city ruled by blue telepathic humanoid giants named Traags.

Totally standard fare for the Texas Theatre and the odd sense of artistic presentation.

If not in hiding in the forest outside of the walls of the city inhabited by the Traags, the Oms have it worse. They are kept as pets or even kept for entertainment in sadistic games where they fight to the death for the Traag children’s amusement, unable to escape due to magnetic restraining colors. The Oms are regarded as fairly innocuous until one escapes into the forest and a rebellion is led against the Traags.

You had to see it with your own eyes to believe it.

Thursday’s feature was outstanding. It had an immense turnout of eccentrics and nutballs engulfing the lobby waiting to fill their craniums with the visual spectacle that is The Fantastic Planet, where bar patrons were lined up almost to the restrooms before the show to grab a pre-feature beverage before filling up what seemed like 75 percent of the main auditorium’s capacity…. But that was just from this raisin cake’s perspective.

Everything went off great, it was a fun experience for people who have seen it before (like yours truly) or new initiates of the surreal pastel dreamscape, which is surreal, psychedelic, and almost welcoming to individuals who want to journey into this micro-dose of cinematic work.

After the feature ended, the response was nothing short of a well-received eruption of elation, to say the least. Many people stayed around to socialize and exchange thoughts on how they enjoyed the wild experience together in a theatre as they should watch it as a singular consciousness. The viewers are the cells making up the organelles, organs, and organ systems culminating into an organism with hundreds of eyeballs taking in the visual spectacle as one.

Again, it was a wild success and I plan on returning next time. Hopefully, word of mouth will catch on and Suspended Animation will garner an intense and loyal following for future installments. But don’t take it from me, take it from the mind of the mad scientist behind the new series below.

That is right. Suspended Animation was a success and is coming back next month for its 2nd installment with a 35mm showing of Ralph Bakshi’s (Wizards, Fritz the Cat) 1992 film Cool World starring Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, End of Days) portrays Cartoonist, Jack Deebs, who created the cartoon universe of “Cool World” featuring the femme fatale, Holli Would. Kim Basinger (Batman, L.A. Confidential) brings the character to life in the cool world in real life and on Thursday, 9/28.

You can also view an extremely young Brad Pitt (Fight Club, Se7en) in a major co-starring role.
If you haven’t seen it, I strongly recommend catching it. And if you do, I strongly suggest entertaining the notion of partaking of mind-altering substances prior. It might enhance your viewing experience, should you be into that.

I highly suggest you be there for this unique experience.

35mm film showings are always upstairs so seating is a bit more limited than the downstairs auditorium so you would be wise to go online to purchase your tickets in advance on the Texas Theatre website(

This a great new series so tell your friends about Chris’s brainchild, Suspended Animation. And when you come, leave your brain, but not your mind at the door.

For more information go to the Texas Theatre’s official website and the official Suspended Animation Instagram here


15th Dallas International Film Festival