This remarkable animated documentary traces the unconventional upbringing of the filmmaker Jung Henin, one of thousands of Korean children adopted by Western families after the end of the Korean War. It is the story of a boy stranded between two cultures. Animated vignettes – some humorous and some poetic – track Jung from the day he first meet his new blond siblings, through elementary school, and into his teenage years, when his emerging sense of identity begins to create fissures at home and ignite the latent biases of his adoptive parents. The filmmaker tells his story using his own animation intercut with snippets of super-8 family footage and archival film. The result is an animated memoir like no other: clear-eyed and unflinching, humorous, and above all, inspiring in the capacity of the human heart.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
The movie is not always well unified and sequenced, but that seems to reflect Mr. Henin's ambivalence over a past that's like a book he is at once rereading and rewriting.Nicolas Rapold, New York Times, 11.07.2013
The archival clips are eye-opening, and the animation, with its lovely subdued palette, is alive with the pains, joys and rascal spirit of childhood.Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, 11.21.2013
Animated semi-documentary takes a wry backward glance at an unorthodox childhood with sometimes affecting results.Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter, 10.21.2013
It's impossible not to be charmed on some level by Jung Henin and Laurent Boileau's Approved for Adoption, though it's best not to ask for too much.Jay Weissberg, Variety, 10.21.2013