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Entries in animated films (421)

Friday
Apr122019

Review: Missing Link

by Chris Feil

Laika is back with another idiosyncratic stop-motion wonder and its their most chipper effort yet. Missing Link follows the animation house’s unique imagination down a rabbit hole of globe-trotting legend, delivering a buddy comedy that’s also about self-love and self-respect. As ever, Laika serves us such spectacular visuals and winning charm that it’s easy to overlook what is more familiar in the film. But this one finds the studio at their most unfettered, giving us a breezy treat that rings of a new level of confidence.

Hugh Jackman leads a surprisingly delightful voice cast as a seeker of rare creatures named Sir Lionel Frost. Attempting to join an elite society of beast hunters that mocks him, he sets off to America in search of Big Foot. What he finds is the gentile apeman Mr. Link, who in turn enlists Frost to guide him to the other side of the globe in search of  a storied tribe of yetis that could be Link’s closest biological kinfolk. With those uppercrust poachers pursuing them to usurp Frost’s discovery, Frost and Link are joined by the widowed Adelina Fortnight, and the three set off on a self-actualization journey into the unknown.

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Wednesday
Feb062019

10th Anniversary: Laika's "Coraline"

by Timothy Brayton

Coraline, which opened in theaters ten years ago today, was groundbreaking in all sorts of ways. It was the first feature made by Laika, soon to become a cultishly loved, critically praised animation studio with an Oscar nomination for every one of its four films (a fifth, Missing Link, is set to open in April). It was one of the first films in the most recent 3D fad to demonstrate a real sense of the emotional and narrative possibilities of using stereoscopic effects, and it was only rarely equaled in the years following. It represents an extraordinary leap into a brand new mixed-media animation style that I refrain from calling "revolutionary" only because nobody else but Laika seems to be interested in experimenting with it.

The truly special thing about Coraline is not that it achieved any of these things. Plenty of films invent new stuff. What's special – downright miraculous, even – is that Coraline feels just as fresh and bold in 2019 as it did in 2009...

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Sunday
Feb032019

Annie Awards swing giddily into the "Spider-Verse" and might predict Oscar's Animated Short winner 

by Nathaniel R

The directors of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse had a great great night at the Annie Awards

Though Disney dominated the Annie nominations with huge tallies for both Incredibles 2 and Ralph Breaks the Internet  it was Sony Animation's all time biggest hit that proved the ultimate champ with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse hogging the big prizes at the event. Other big winners were Disney's Mickey Mouse, and two series from Netflix: Hilda  and Bojack Horseman. The winners list and commentary including a few full winning short films and notes on Oscar's animated short race after the jump...

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Saturday
Feb022019

22 days til Oscar - Walt Disney and his nearest rivals (?)

by Nathaniel R

Everyone presumably knows that Walt Disney (1901-1966), one of the 20th century's most influential titans, holds the records of most competitive Oscar wins. He amassed a total of 22 Oscars in his career which broke down like so:

  • 12 animated shorts
  • 6 live action shorts *
  • 2 documentary shorts
  • 2 documentary features

A few notes on these achievements and Disney's nearest rivals in these categories (and whether or not the ranks might change) after the jump...

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Monday
Jan212019

Shorts Predictions -- All Oscar Categories Complete!

by Nathaniel R

some of the shorts contenders we're most curious about after investigating the titles

For better or worse all of the Oscar predictions are completed including the last three hold outs: Live Action Short, Animated Short, and Documentary Short. Though we have yet to see the shorts (that'll have to wait until nominations) predictions were made via an unholy combo of hunches, IMDb ratings, plot descriptions, tea leaves, blind faith, coin tossing, and a teensy bit but not much of seeing what other people around the web are saying but never following that exactly because nobody ever scores 5/5 in all shorts categories. Including me, of course, but there's always a first time. Maybe? 

 Final Predictions All Categories
INDEX | PICTURE   | DIRECTOR |
ACTRESS | ACTOR | SUPP ACTRESS |
SUPP ACTOR | SCREENPLAY  |
FOREIGN FILM | ANIMATION, DOCS, SHORTS |
VISUALS | SOUND

Sunday
Jan062019

The 2018 Animation Contenders: On Happiness Road

Each weekend, Tim has been taking a look at one of the films submitted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

Taiwan's animation industry does not have a particularly strong reputation, to put it gently. For many years, the country's animation studios have largely served as inexpensive places to farm out work from other, more well-heeled companies, or to produce short films and clips that are largely ephemeral and quickly forgotten. So perhaps the first impressive thing about On Happiness Road is that it exists at all: a Taiwanese-produced feature-length animated film, about Taiwanese history and the cultural position of Taiwan in the wide world. That it is largely good is even more impressive.

The film is the brainchild of writer-director Sung Hsin-Yin, making her first feature after a handful of short films. It tells the life story of Chi (voiced by Kwei Lun-Mi) a thirtysomething expatriate who returns from America to Taipei, where we immediately intuit she'd rather not be... 

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