Stunning adult entertainment featuring Lake Bell

In a scene from the animated film Cryptozoo, a tower wobbles as a large snake and a woman riding a winged horse pass by.

A fanciful and dangerous scene from Cryptozoo.
Picture: Magnolia Pictures

Writer-Director Dash Shaw’s Cryptozoo—With animation direction by Jane Samborski — explores the limits of personal responsibility and the importance of taking a step back to consider the bigger picture from time to time, especially its own ever-changing place. io9 got to see the movie early at Sundance, but now you can get a taste of what it’s all about from its first trailer.

Cryptozoo gives us complex characters that evolve as they grapple with these themes. And it wraps its whimsical story in brilliant animation that essentially defines “eye candy” while imagining a world where cryptids and mythical beasts yearn for the freedom to just be their own weird, sometimes scary selves. After winning the Innovator Award at the (Virtual) 2021 Sundance Film Festival NEXT Category, which highlights films that “unite digital technology with the art of cinema” Cryptozoo has been chosen for distribution by Magnolia Pictures, which means its truly unique story and visuals will finally reach their full glory on the big screen. Here’s the first official trailer, which just released today:

Bell Lake Play as Lauren, a cryptozoo keeper who travels to save persecuted cryptids and bring them to the shrine she has dedicated her life to serving. But she begins to question her crusade and the Cryptozoo himself after meeting Phoebe (Angeliki Papoulia), a Gorgon who was able to live among humans using special contact lenses and snake tranquilizers (for her hair). Meanwhile, the US military is hiding on the sidelines, hoping to find a way to arm some of the exhibits that are kept under Lauren’s watchful eye.

The rest of the voice cast includes Zoe Kazan, Michael Cera, Louisa Krause, Peter Stormare, Thomas Jay Ryan and Grace Zabriskie, in a film that also features an array of manticores, dragons, a Kraken, a child whose the face is on their torso, and many others. Cryptozoo opens August 20.

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