Nowadays Michel Gondry makes mostly live action films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, but he has been intimately connected with animation processes since his earliest days as a music video director. His new feature, Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, harkens back to his experimental roots as he animates the theories of linguist, philosopher and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky. It also might just be the first American animated film this year that isn’t packed with fart gags and bodily function humor:

Through complex, lively conversations with Chomsky and brilliant illustrations by Gondry himself, the film reveals the life and work of the father of modern linguistics while also exploring his theories on the emergence of language. The result is not only a dazzling, vital portrait of one of the foremost thinkers of modern times, but also a beautifully animated work of art.

Gondry receives the main title credit for animation, but the full credits also list Valerie Pirson and Timothée Lemoine as animators alongside Gondry. Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? will have its world premiere as the closing night selection of DOC NYC Festival in November. It will then be distributed by Sundance Selects in limited theatrical release, on iTunes and VOD on November 22.

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