HOT TOPICS

NOW PLAYING

in theaters


all reviews

new on dvd


 

 

Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
PODCAST, GOWNS, TRIVIA
A HANDY GUIDE TO ALL THE OSCAR COVERAGE

"Oh no, what will I do without my daily reminder that Julianne Moore won an Oscar?!" -Steve G

 

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

Subscribe
What'cha Looking For?

Entries in animated films (234)

Tuesday
Mar032015

Top Ten: Horny For Horned Creatures 

This top ten list is devoted to Madonna & her minotaurs since "Rebel Heart," the Queen of Pop's 13th studio album arrives in full this Friday.

The minotaurs in particular serve as horny inspiration for this week's top ten. What are the best horned villains, horned beauties or horny creatures from the movies? I was surprised to realize that we don't get that many. It was hard to find enough good characters. The movies haven't been big on the succubus, for example, as mythological fetishes go. TV has far more horned characters but that's thanks in most part to the demon happy and expansive Buffyverse. But we're talking movies. Sorry Hellmouth!

We'll make do with what we have. But please do shout out a favorite if you don't see it here. 

TOP TEN HORNED MOVIE CHARACTERS
after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar032015

Curio: Introduction to Pinocchio

Alexa here with your weekly film curios. After I read Tim's post celebrating Pinocchio on its 75th anniversary, I wondered how I'd ever missed it, and more importantly, how I'd missed showing it to my 5-year-old, now a budding film buff. After all, we had read the Little Golden Book together many times, and it was even one of her favorite cartridges to watch on our vintage Fisher Price Movie Viewer.  She likes to play the short sequence of Pinocchio coming to life backwards and forwards and study each frame. (If you aren't familiar with this fantastic toy, read more here.  Any toy that involves hand-cranking a small Super 8 film is irresistible to me.)  

 

 Unsurprisingly, since investing in the DVD the film has been in heavy rotation around our house.  After the jump, some Pinocchio curios, vintage and handmade, to continue the film's 75th Anniversary celebration...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb192015

Tim's Toons: Animated also-rans

Tim here. In his official Oscar predictions today, Nathaniel left out Best Animated Feature, but no matter. By this point, you'd have to hunt a while to find anybody predicting a winner other than How to Train Your Dragon 2, with a few Big Hero 6 holdouts just trying to pretend that things will be interesting. (Me, I'm thinking that we're about to see an unexpected explosion of write-in votes to make sure that Mr. Peabody & Sherman can finally get its due).

That level of predictability almost always ends up settling into this particular race (last year was an exception), which can make it hard, sometimes, to recall that the category has had a purpose beyond annually recognizing that yep, Pixar sure does make some pretty fine movies. So instead of prepping for Oscar weekend by celebrating winners, I want to pay tribute to some losers. The beautiful likes of The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea are (probably) about the join the 36 films to have so far been nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and lost out, and that's some fine company to be in. Here are some of my personal favorites.

The Triplets of Belleville (2003; lost to Finding Nemo)
Even after 11 years, the jazzy "Bellville Rendez-vous" remains one of the most memorable original songs in 21st Century filmmaking (it also lost a competitive Oscar). It's a brilliant component of a movie that I'm generally inclined to regard with fetishistic adoration, and will start recommending to people on even the slightest pretext. Like this one, for example. It's one of the most essential animated features of the last 15 years, easily, combining warped slapstick humor with an elegiac sense of melancholy, expressed in a scratchy graphic style that turns everyone into a grotesque caricature while given all of them full, vibrant personalities. Not bad for a film with less than a dozen spoken words in its entire running time.

Persepolis (2007; lost to Ratatouille)
Marjane Satrapi's adaptation of her own graphic novel memoir is a little redundant, perhaps. But taken on its own terms, this story of life during the Iranian Revolution, told in soft lines and crisp black-and-white, is terrific animated cinema both aesthetically and politically. Overtly feminist stories and animation for an appreciative adult audience are both rare, combining them is rarer, and using it all in the service of putting a human face to life in Iran that doesn't pander or beg for special pleading makes this one as bold as any animated film I can ever name. And yet it's so sardonic and brisk that it never feels capital-I Important in a boring way. A total success that deserves infinitely more attention than it's ever received in the U.S.

Kung Fu Panda (2008; lost to WALL·E)
When the first How to Train Your Dragon came out in 2010, it was greeted with critical hosannas as the movie that finally proved that DreamWorks Animation could make a movie that as every bit as good as its best competition. But then, the studio had already proven that with this brightly-colored, poppy tribute to Asian landscape paintings and schlocky '70s kung-fu movies. It's silly as hell, and the jokes have all the smirking anachronism of DreamWorks at its worst. But it's also funny and disarmingly sweet, and the company's fixation on all-celebrity voice casting never worked out as well as it did here, with Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, and Ian McShane among the many familiar faces we don't see.

The Princess and the Frog (2009; lost to Up)
The financial success of the following year's Tangled immediately swallowed up the small splash made by Disney's first-ever animated feature centered on an African-American protagonist. And then the behemoth of 2013's Frozen left it almost totally forgotten as the first attempt in a generation to make a classic Disney Princess musical. Neither of which is at all a fair fate for an earnest attempt at correcting the company's long history of representational yuckiness with a warm suite of Randy Newman songs, top-notch voice acting, and beautifully old-school 2-D animation. It's a sop to the studio's fans, sure, but as a fan, I am greatly pleased to have it in my life even now, far more than either of its bigger successors.

What are your favorite nominees to have missed on on the Best Animated Feature Oscar?

Friday
Feb132015

Interview: Tomm Moore on "Song of the Sea" and the Oscar Race

Tomm Moore, 38, is enjoying his second Oscar nomination for Animated FeatureOne of the semi-unexpected joys of the birth of the Animated Feature Oscar category in 2001 has been the steady stream of international cartoons that the Oscars have spotlighted. The first truly big surprise was a nomination for a film few had heard of at the time called The Secret of Kells (2009) -- that "what's that?" nomination has become something of a tradition in the category since then. The Oscar nomination for that hypnotic and singularly gorgeous tribute to Irish folklore did a lot to put Cartoon Saloon, an Irish animation studio, on the map.

Cartoon Saloon's co-founder and Kells co-director Tomm Moore has crafted another magical Irish winner in Song of the Sea, an adventure about a boy who discovers his little sister is a "selkie" and holds the key to saving all the faerie folk who are slowly turning to stone (long story!). 

I had the pleasure of speaking to Moore by phone where he was in San Francisco on his Song of the Sea tour and about to meet with Pete Docter (Up). He peppers his conversation with plentiful references to other animation giants (also sharing a story about hanging out with the Big Hero 6 team). It all paints a wonderful picture of a very tight mutual-appreciation niche within Hollywood's larger ecosystem.

We talked Oscars, storytelling, and Cartoon Saloon's next project...

NATHANIEL:  This is your second time nominated for the big show. Does it feel different this time?

TOMM MOORE:  For sure yeah. It’s more fun because we know a little bit more what to expect and am able to enjoy it a bit more rather than just be like “what?”

NATHANIEL: It’s been five years since your last movie.

TOMM: In the meantime I’ve joined the Academy myself and I understand a little bit better how it all works. 

Moore's favorite film of 2014 and the responsibility of kids movies after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb122015

Tim's Toons: Sex and Animation

Tim here. Two things are happening this weekend: one is Valentine's Day, when one's mind naturally turns to talk of romantic movies. The other, infinitely more exciting thing is the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, a movie about sex. Not a movie that contains sex; a movie in which sex is the sole facet of the plot. It's exciting to think of a high-profile wide-release blockbuster basing its whole identity on something adult and mature instead of yet another damn pre-pubescent techno-fantasy, even if FSOG is, by all accounts, not very good. At any rate, with cinematic sex at the forefront of everybody's minds, and since this is our weekly space for talking about the broad world of animation, how could I pass up a chance to talk about sexy cartoons?

The link between sex and animation goes way back – I've seen some silent animated pornography that would probably get me drummed out of Team Experience if I linked to it directly, but if you want to see the absolute weirdest damn thing you have encountered all week, Google "Eveready Harton" and make sure there aren't children around. But it reached its first pinnacle in the form of flapper Betty Boop. [More...]

Click to read more ...