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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Demme (RIP) and His Players

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Entries in animated films (353)

Monday
Jan022017

2016's Box Office Scorecard. Big & Minor Hits (Some Flops due to Budget)

Each day for the past two weeks we've been looking back on the year that was from different angles. Today, the biggest hits of 2016 in two different categories (franchise vs original).

It will surprise no one that the year's biggest hits continue to prove Hollywood right (sigh) in pursuing nothing but animated and superhero pictures and franchisable intellectual property and neglecting the nurturing of movies for adults. On the bright side quality pictures do occassionally break through audience resistance to original concepts and voices, often with the help of awards at year's end. So next time you hear people complain about awards season, remind them that we might never get movies made for adults if there weren't shiny gold statues to chase.

How many of these 35 pictures have you seen and which will you hit next? 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec182016

Christmas Classics: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)

A few members of Team Experience will be sharing posts on their favorite Christmas movies. Here's Tim...

Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of a great classic: it was on December 18, 1966, that the world got its first look at the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas, adapted from the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss and directed by cartoon legend Chuck Jones. There are too many ways we could quantity the importance of this television special: as the last of Jones's masterpieces before he settled into Elder Statesman status, as the progenitor of a line of generally strong Seuss adaptations that didn't stop until the beginning of the 1980s, as the third in a line of deathless cartoon Christmas specials that premiered one per year from 1964 to 1966 (Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas are the others).

But since it's the holiday season, let's start with how this is one of the loveliest and most heartfelt stories of the True Meaning of Christmas ever filmed. That is, in no small part, because neither Seuss nor Jones were overt sentimentalists: the author had a slightly arch, caustic tone to his highly precise rhyming that's too self-aware to be saccharine, and Jones built his career on anarchic cartoon comedies, making no fewer than three films on the theme "how many ways can we shoot Daffy in the face?" And with that kind of attitude underpinning the proceedings, How the Grinch Stole Christmas ends up being a little bit saltier than most of the other canonical Christmas classics. Obviously, it gets to the expected place where we all learn important lessons and feel better and embrace tradition, but it works a little bit harder than usual to make sure that it's earned.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec132016

91 Tunes Eligible for Oscar's "Best Original Song" Category

Oscar's music branch has sorted through all the tuneful submissions and made two gigantic lists. They've deemed 145 original film scores eligible for "Best Original Score" and 91 songs eligible in Oscar's most divisive category "Best Original Song". As long as I've been alive people have objected to this category even existing (when far more prevalents crafts like "casting" and "stunts" don't have Oscar categories) but without it we wouldn't get all those memorable musical performances on the show. Please note the word "memorable" comes with no connotations as to quality. You can be memorable for all sorts of reasons from brilliance to embarrassing yourself!

This year has the usual array of films you've never heard of, plentiful documentary and cartoon theme songs, songs from movies you saw but didn't realize they had a song (Sully anyone?!), and a whole lot of Sia from multiple movies though her best shots are probably the theme song from The Eagle Huntress or Zootopia's "Try Everything" (people think of it as a Shakira song but Sia wrote it so she'd get the nomination). Since single movies are only allowed two nominees in this category (the rule was changed after the 2007 Oscar race with 3 nominations from Enchanted), you'll find that most movies don't submit more than that, now. Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping only went with one, Sing Street narrowed their plentiful options down to two and La La Land submitted three. Sadly Hail Caesar either didn't submit or they deemed "No Dames" ineligible, we're guessing the former.  The 91 songs are listed after the jump with their videos so you can hear them where we could find them... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov292016

Annie Award Nominations: Kubo, Zootopia, The Red Turtle...

Nominations for the 44th annual Annie Awards have been announced. Zootopia leads with 11 nominations with Laika's Kubo and the Two Strings just behind with 10 nominations. Because the Annies have two separate feature categories (the regular one plus an "indie" category which basically means "foreign") you can probably safely assume that the eventual Oscar lineup will be some mishmash between the two.

nominees and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov232016

The Finalists in All "Short Film" Categories 

Oscar announced the finalists in the documentary short film category a month ago but now we have the live action and animated finalists as well so the charts have been updated with links and information.

Inner Working

As expected Pixar's Piper which played before Finding Dory and Disney's hilarious Inner Workings, which is playing before Moana are both in the running. But if you're interested in seeing glimpses of their competition for those coveted five nominations, all the other trailers are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov112016

27 Films Eligible for Best Animated Feature

[UPDATE: Variety shared a list of 22 a week ago jumping the gun a week ago and we followed suit. Now we've updated on 11/11 with 5 additional titles since the actual list has been revealed]

Twenty-seven films are officially in the mix for Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature. Since the threshold to trigger a five wide shortlist in the category is only sixteen, we'll get five nominees this year. As per usual in this category the US will dominate but one or two of the nominations will surely be nabbed by formidable and lower profile threats from France and/or Japan. The list and a few notes follow...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov102016

Swing Tarzan Swing: Disney's 1999 Animated Take 

We've reached the penultimate episode of our Tarzan series. Now sailing into Disney wilds...

by Nathaniel R

For over half a century in film and television storytellers didn't think Tarzan needed an origin plot but when the movies told it (Greystoke, 1984), it was as if everyone had always wanted to. Why not Disney then? Disney hadn't quite run out of classic fairytales to adapt by the mid-nineties but they were shifting their focus to boys. This was arguably due to their gargantuan back-to-back biggest-ever successes of Aladdin (1992) and The Lion King (1994), two animated features that deviated from their princess focus. Enter Hercules and then Tarzan. Neither were girly fairytales but both were still firmly embedded in fantasy and heightened enough for musical numbers.

Sort of.

By the time Tarzan rolled into town, Disney executives had clearly begun to wonder if audiences were done with the musical part of their Animated Musicals because Tarzan is only a musical in the sense that non-diegetic adult contemp ear worms keep popping up. They arrive without warning, with all the subtlety of a slasher movie jump scare.

Click to read more ...