Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category

Loving Vincent – **

Posted: November 29, 2017 in 2017, Animation, Drama, XX

It’s surprising how long it took before a painted movie was made. Ever since I was a kid, I wondered why nobody ever made a movie about a painter in the style of the painter concerned. An impressionist movie about Monet! An baroque movie about Rubens. There have been a few attempts in the past, mostly live action settings, but this is the first painted movie. Several teams of painters painted each frame, edited together with a stop motion technique. It’s quite fascinating…. For the first 15 minutes at least. Then you get used to it and you focus on the story, which sadly isn’t so intriguing. Unless you’ve never learned about the death of Vincent Van Gogh.

After learning about the death of Vincent Van Gogh, the son of an Arles postman is commisoned to take a sealed letter to Vincent’s brother Theo in Paris. Upon arrival he learns that Theo has passed away and so his journey continues to Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent apparently shot himself. The man gets more intriguied in the happenings during the final days of Vincent’s life, so he starts asking around for more details.

That detective element doesn’t quite work. There are just too many dialogues/interrogations with several characters, during which the extraordinary painted animation isn’t used to its full potential. Sad really. But you want to see it for the drawings. Which are marvelous at times. Even when you’re not a Van Gogh fan. It’s still quite a feat. And well done.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3262342

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Brave – **

Posted: October 2, 2017 in 2016, Animation, Children/Family, USA, XX
Tags: , , ,

Hey, Disney/Pixar Studios, can you make an animated feature movie that shows ALL the stereotypes of Scotland? Put in some folky music, bagpipes of course, the highland games, characters with ginger hair, the accent of course, with words like ‘wee’ every now and then, men wearing kilts and nothing underneath of it, some celtic ritual stones, a lot of ‘pub’ fighting, because that’s what people do in Scotland… Never mind being historically correct. Who cares if the Vikings and the Romans invaded Scotland at the same time. Nobody cares. And don’t worry about making the king look three times the size of the queen. And the children look like they are only one foot tall. Never mind that. Just make it about a heroin. A Girl, yes. A brave one. With Ginger hair of course. And add a scene with a witch and a spell, like in the old days. Oh and some bears. That’s always good fun. And a horse as a side kick. Yeah. Make it and you’ll have a hit.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1217209/

GCI Animated Shorts

Posted: August 3, 2017 in 2017, Animation, USA

Two animated short movies are going viral this week. One is excellent, the other one is just okay. The just okay one is about the infatuation of a young boy for another boy. That’s still controversial in 2017. And so it gets a lot of media coverage. The excellent one is about a single guy who is afraid of showing his true feelings for a new girl he just met.

It’s not a competition about which short movie is better. It’s just sad that the controversial one gets all the attention. So, please watch both.

Ehm.

Not sure what to think of this beautifully animated and original Pacific Islander’s tale. Some elements are extraordinary. The animation itself for instance. It’s a marvel for the eyes. Or the main character, a strong and adventurous female role model. But other elements are just annoying. The side characters for instance. A silly chicken, which comicial use is getting repetitive by the end. A piglet, which only gets three scenes. And a tatoo drawing, which comes to life as some kind of subconsciousness. However, the most annyoing element of them all is the score, with songs that seem to have been composed to sing on a stage in Broadway.

The story isn’t a medieval fairytale, but a legend as told to inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a great story about a demigod who stole the heart of a nature goddess, who turned into an evil power, disrupting nature. And a girl, chosen to help the demigod bring back the heart and restore nature. The demigod is voiced by The Rock, who really does a good job to be honest. But the demigod looks awefull! They could have designed him a bit more attractive.

So, yeah.

It’s an okay movie. For kids and their parents. Both will enjoy parts of it. Just not the same.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3521164/

There should be a new MPAA rating that says: Only For Kids!

The set up is cool though. The story tells the adventure of several apartment pets who venture out away from their comfort zone in the quest for a missing dog and his new companion. Most of the scenes are inspired by funny animal clips on youtube. And some of them are funny. One character in particular is hilarious: Gidget. And Kevin Hart forcing a revengeful bunny is also quite unique. But the story itself just doesn’t make a lot of sense. There are a lot of other animation movies out there they give a better feel of satisfaction.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2709768

Sausage Party – **

Posted: May 8, 2017 in 2016, Animation, Comedy, Parody, USA, XX

Sausage Party would have been an excellent animated short. But animated shorts don’t make any profit and movie making is all about making profit. So Sausage Party became a feature animated movie that has some really clever and funny moments, but has even more redundant scenes. The set up is great though. The products in a supermarket assume that the humans who purchase them are Gods and will take them to the heavenly Great Beyond. Until, of course, some products discover the truth…

That set up is brilliant. The mockery of mass religion is daring and brave. The references to some of our current human situations are legio and often well thought of. However, for every high brow social comment joke there’s an ordinary platitude or sexual insinuation. In fact, there are more of the latter. Some are clever and funny too. There are just too many of them.

The main characters are a hot dog sausage (voided by Seth Rogen – perfect for the job) and a bun (voiced by Kirstin Wiig), who dream of ending up at the same human’s house so they can finally meet and be together. A sausage dreaming of being squeezed into a bun. A bun dreaming of having a sausage inside of her! It’s funny in the trailer and it’s funny the first 10 minutes of the movie. It’s just not funny anymore after half an hour, nor after an hour, nor after an hour and a half. By the time the Taco (voiced by Salma Hayek) wants to join in on the fun between the hotdog and the bun, it’s really not cool anymore. The makers decided to use all the stereotypical prejudiced voices and character types for its characters. The bagel is Jewish (Ed Norton sounding like Woody Allen), the Salsa is Mexican, etc…

It’s a very American animated movie. A lot of products are not known under the same name in Europe. So that kind of is annoying. And some characters in the movie are not edible at all. The Vaginal Douche is in there just for the gross jokes. And the Toilet Paper as well. But it would have been much more ‘realistic’ if the characters would just be food.

Anyways. It makes you laugh most of the time. So watch it. It’s only 99 cent as a rental on iTunes.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1700841/

The Red Turtle – **(*)

Posted: February 10, 2017 in 2016, Animation, Belgium, Drama, Japan, XX1/2

Wouldn’t it be cool is this movie won the Oscar for best animation movie? Everyone expected Finding Dory to be a contender, but this artsy, non commercial French/Belgian/Japanese co-production took the place of the animation blockbuster of the year.

Finding Dory it is NOT. It’s a beautiful animated tale of a man who strands on a deserted island, can’t leave because a giant turtle keeps breaking the rafts he builds. Until that turtle comes ashore and he takes his revenge. But the revenge changes his life on the island.

You don’t need to know more. Don’t watch the trailer either.

It looks like a moving European (Franco-Belge) comic book. The drawings are exceptional. The use of color and light and shadows and details is astonishing. The movement itself isn’t as stiff as you’d imagine from a hand-drawn animation movie. It’s actually quite smooth. It’s not annoying at all. But the story isn’t all that much.A lot of things happen to keep the movie going, but it’s not as poetic or deep as you might expect.

It’s looking at incredibly well animated shots of life on a deserted island with sunsets that you’ll never forget. And without the end credits it’s only 75 minutes long.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3666024