Get Moving, Soldier!

It usually occurs between ages nine and twelve. Dolls and action figures get pushed under the bed. Play dates become "hanging out." Kung-fu grip finds other applications.

And then there are individuals whose shelves are never cleared of pre-adolescent accoutrements. Semi-respectable titles like "hobbyist" and "collector" are cloaks that enable these full-grown kids to maneuver in the foreign lands of adulthood. Thank you, merciful Internets. Pondpatrol.com is where local barista/musician and undercover odd child Gio Toninelo developed a worldwide viewership for his sprawling photo journal that narrates the adventures of his classic twelve-inch G.I. Joe collection. But apparently, crafting detailed miniature sets and shooting in-the-field close-ups wasn't enough for the 35-year-old. If only his friends could move and talk!

This concludes the explanation of how Denver earned the honor of hosting the first G.I. Joe Stop Motion Film Festival. For three battle-packed hours tonight, lovers of action-figure action will experience about 25 shorts by filmmakers from as far away as Britain and Taiwan. Submissions range from solemn to silly, with choreography in pieces like War American Style and Bloody Revenge that would make Private Ryan run for cover. Along with voting for favorites, audience members get a shot at taking home a G.I. Joe collectible and this question: Under the bed or on the shelf?

The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street, 303-477-5977. Get advance tickets, $9, at www.gijoefilmfestival.com or pay $10 at the door.
Thu., Sept. 20, 8:30 p.m.

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Jared Jacang Maher