HOT TOPICS

TV

IN THEATERS

DVD / BLURAY / STREAMING

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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
SMACKDOWN 1954

 "I love that two people independent of one another gave Claire Trevor an extra star simply for being Claire Trevor." - Glenn

"Interesting to see the take of young people on these movies." - Les

"That was fascinating. I love the thoughts on Executive Suite, post-post-WWII and the "benevolent patriarch." " - B.D.

 

Keep TFE Strong

LOVE THE SITE? DONATE 

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 (266)

Friday
May222015

Tim's Toons: Animated Features at Cannes

This week, the Cannes Film Festival was home to the premiere of Inside Out, the new film by Pixar Animation Studios, and one of its best-reviewed pictures. The film is playing out of competition, as has been the recent tendency of most Hollywood products, and animation in particular. It has been a special habit of films made by DreamWorks Animation in the 21st Century, with all sorts of things from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron in 2002 up to How to Train Your Dragon 2 last year muscling their way onto the Croisette.

There has, however, been a small but meaningful history of animated movies to have been given slightly more honorable treatment, and allowed to play in the big kids’ sandbox. Since the festival’s first edition in 1946, there have been seven animated features entered into the main competition, if my count is right, and they make for a fascinating cross-section of how the international cinema scene regarded the state of that particular art across the years. Here, in order, are those seven films.

Make Mine Music (1946)
The eighth feature made by the Disney studio, and the third of that company’s dubious “package films”, attempts to make entire features by jamming a bunch of short films into one vague thematic frame. Like any anthology, it has peaks and valleys, though the latter dominate, and the film is infinitely less impressive than its quasi-sequel Melody Time. Let us not be baffled by its Cannes slot; this was the fest’s first year & they were figuring it out, everybody loves Disney, and it’s a nice post-war feel-good effort. It won Best Animation Design, a discontinued award.

six more after the jump including Persepolis and... Shrek 2 (!?)

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May212015

YNMS: Shaun the Sheep Movie (and more from Aardman)

Tim here. If it’s possible for a little boutique studio with the most self-selecting audience imaginable to engage in a “media blitz” Aardman Animations (creators of Chicken Run and the Wallace & Gromit shorts) is having a very media-blitz sort of a day. 

First, they’ve released the first image from Early Man, director Nick Park’s upcoming caveman adventure that’s currently pre-selling distribution rights at Cannes (it will be Park’s first directorial effort since the Oscar-nominated 2008 short A Matter of Loaf and Death; I imagine that I’m not alone in finding his return to filmmaking something of a religious event).

Next up, Lionsgate has released the poster and trailer for their release of Aardman’s impending feature, Shaun the Sheep Movie (yes, that’s its actual, grammatically disastrous title). After the jump we break the trailer down using TFE's famed and authoritative Yes No Maybe So system.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May142015

Tim's Toons: Biking through Belleville

Tim here, to celebrate National Bike to Work Week in the only way I possibly could. Because when it comes to animated movies about bikes, there's nothing that can top 2003's The Triplets of Belleville, Sylvain Chomet's lightly mocking love letter to the most quintessential elements of French and American culture. Wine and frog-eating on the one side, obesity and urban rudeness on the other, and most importantly for our current purposes, the Tour de France, the most famous bike race in the world.

The bubbly, convoluted story pivots on Champion, raised by his grandmother, whose only interest as a lonely child was in biking. This translates, years later, into his competition in the Tour, from which he's kidnapped by the French mafia as part of their underground gambling ring, from which his grandmother can only rescue him with the help of a trio of elderly cabaret performers. I said "convoluted", right? Because that's a nice word to describe how random and weird Triplets of Belleville can be in its pileup of absurd plot developments. But also, always, delightful and beguiling.

Chomet's tribute to the bike culture in France is, like everything else, predicated on outrageous grotesquerie: in a movie where the entire cast have impossible, distorted body shapes, Champion himself is one of the most extreme examples.

It only takes one glance at his rail-thin body and enormous legs to grasp that this is what a lifetime of single-minded dedication to competitive bike-riding looks like. It might seem like a nasty-minded commentary on athletes destroying their bodies, except that the whole film is based on exaggerated caricature; we could just as easily say that Champion's malformed body is the expression of a soul-consuming passion that's so important to him that he doesn't even realize when the mafia has him chained in front of a movie screen, biking on an endless loop.

That went and got a little nihilistic on me, so let me switch tracks over to the film's other big biking-related sequence: the Tour de France itself, a beautiful little parody of the over-the-top, carnivalesque enthusiasm that crops up when a small town has a great big national event to celebrate, going out of its way to realign everything around this one chance to shine.

And on the more generous side of things, the film also shows off the undulating beauty of its animated countryside, a tribute to the landscape of France that wonderfully shows off the justification for having an internationally well-known biking tour all throughout that country in the first place. The films resting state is to be sardonic as all hell, as often as possible, but it doesn't lack for heart, or even a kind of sentimental affection for the textures of rural France.

The fair concession to make is that The Triplets of Belleville isn't really "about" biking in any sustained way; it's not about any one thing at all. But those things it chooses to glance at get treated with quite a lot of imagination and flair. This might not be cinema's most probing, deep consideration of bikes and the Tour de France, but it's certainly one of the most memorable.

Saturday
May092015

Tim's Toons: 1979 and the first film of Hayao Miyazaki

Tim here. May is 1979 Month at the Film Experience, and as far as animation goes, that was a pretty meager year (ardent fans of The Flintstones Meet Rockula and Frankenstone would no doubt disagree, but sadly, they do not exist). There was one clear highlight, though: 1979 was the year that a Japanese animator and TV director named Hayao Miyazaki made his first feature film. And 36 years later, he’s one of the only name-brand individuals in animation, anywhere in the world.

You wouldn’t necessarily be able to guess the full range of Miyazaki’s future career from Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. For that is the title of this debut film, and if that whole “subtitle after the colon” thing makes it feel like it might have been part of an established franchise, that’s exactly the case. Lupin III was an anime series made by TMS Entertainment, adapting the adventures of a gentleman thief from French pulp literature; the first batch of episodes started to appear in 1971, and iterations of the animated franchise kept poking up for decades; the series still remains a cultural touchstone in Japan and it’s reasonably popular anywhere there’s an enthusiastic audience for classic anime.

more...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May012015

Tim's Toons: Soviet Propaganda Sampler Platter

Tim here. It's the first of May, and of course that can only mean one thing! ...oh, right, the new Avengers opens. Yeah, it means that too. But the thing is, the whole internet is going to be around to talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron, all weekend and probably all next week, and by then it will be time to talk about its sequels and spin-offs till the heat death of the universe.

So for right now, it's May Day, or International Workers Day for the anarcho-socialists in the crowd. Sort of like Labor Day's burlier, more aggressively political sibling, it's the kind of holiday that can only be celebrated in one way: animated Soviet propaganda! So please, won't you join me on a brief tour of some of the best - or at least, the most interesting - snippets of propagandistic Soviet cartoons? I promise that it's fascinatingly weird...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr242015

A.I. "Ghost in the Shell"

Artificial Intelligence Week, our way of saying "hey, Ex-Machina and soon Age of Ultron are in theaters so it's trending, sort of" continues with Tim Brayton on an anime classic...

If we're going to talk about artificial intelligence in animation - sci-fi in animation generally, to be honest - we can't help but eventually find our way to the wonderful world of anime. Something about the combination of Japan's willingness to see animation as a medium for all kinds of storytelling, not just kiddie flicks, along with Japan's longstanding obsession with high-tech toys, makes Japanese animation a miraculous breeding ground for complex, philosophically overheated stories of life in the future and the impact of technology on humanity.

And possibly no movie in all of anime is so eager to explore the weirdest, thorniest issues of human vs. robot life, of consciousness vs. the electronic simulation of consciousness, and of self-determined identity as it is constrained by or transcends the body, as director Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr232015

Tim's Toons: The new short "The Alchemist's Letter"

Tim here. It's been a good few weeks for animated short films about the fluctuating nature of memories and the complex relationship we have with the past: the warm glow has hardly faded from the online premiere of World of Tomorrow, and this week has seen the premiere on Vimeo of The Alchemist's Letter, written and directed by Carlos Andre Stevens, a Student Academy Award nominee for his 2008 debut, Toumai.

It's transparently a calling card for Stevens, an employee of commercial animation studio HouseSpecial -- that's a former division of Laika, some of whose designers and effects animators have hopped over to help guide the uncommonly lush and appropriately fussy look of the short -- but what a calling card! It's a brilliant little jeweled egg of a short, evocatively sketching out a whole human life in less than five and a half minutes, and doing it through some utterly beautiful design and animation.

more...

Click to read more ...