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NOVEMBER 4-10

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When the 10-minute short that eventually became The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb first aired on British TV, it provoked a rash of complaints from outraged viewers. David Borthwick’s animated tale does, after all, take the innocent fairy-tale character and cast him without mercy into a nightmarish, post-apocalyptic future. But therein lies its charm. Like Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tom is an intentional hodgepodge of the cute and the menacing. One part fairy tale and two parts Huxley, it’s an acrid commentary on the fate of whimsy and innocence in the industrial age. A truly postmodern animated character, Borthwick’s little Tom is a dead ringer for Jiminy Cricket, but he doesn’t have high hopes, he’s got no hope. Screens with Peter Capaldi’s award-winning Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, whose title says it all. At the Biograph Theater, 2819 M St. NW. (202) 333-2696. (Nicole Arthur)