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Entries in animated films (434)

Saturday
Dec012018

The 2018 Animation Contenders: Early Man

Every Saturday this month, Tim will be taking a look at one of the films submitted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar

So as to avoid burying the lede, let me make it clear that Early Man is a pretty disposable little snip of a thing. One doesn't want to take anything made by Britain's Aardman Animations for granted: the financial state of stop-motion animation is none too strong, and it's a bit of a triumph anytime one of these features gets made and released. Nonetheless, by any standards, and particularly the very high bar Aaardman has set for itself with its beloved Wallace & Gromit shorts, Early Man is pretty low-key. The humor tends towards punny dad jokes, and the film never pretends to be anything else besides corny and silly fun.

That being said, silliness isn't a problem in and of itself. And what we get in Early Man is more adorable than anything else...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov092018

Posterized: Dr. Seuss and "The Grinch"

by Nathaniel R

The children's book author Dr. Seuss (also known as Theodore S. Geisel) is such an icon part of popular culture that he's even had his own postage stamp. But did you know he was also a screenwriter? In addition to the screenplay of the fantasy family film The 5000 Fingers of Dr T (1953) he wrote the script for the Oscar winning documentary Design for Death (1947) which was a documentary about Japanese and what led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Far outside the wheelhouse that was! But mostly when it comes to the screen when we think of Dr Seuss we think of the once-perennial TV airings of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

 The bulk of screen adaptations of Dr Seuss's work have been in the short film format which makes sense, given the short visual books he wrote. Of the many shorts based on his work the following were all nominated for Oscars: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (1943), And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1944), Gerald McBoing-Boing (1950 - OSCAR WIN), and Gerald McBoing! Boing! on Planet Moo (1956). One short based on his work,  Daisy Head Mayzie (1995), was Emmy nominated.

But with the release of The Grinch (2018) today, let's look back on all the feature films (and the three most prominent TV specials) that are Dr Seuss related. How many have you seen and will you be seeing The Grinch? The posters are after the jump...

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Friday
Nov022018

Blueprints: "Coco"

Feliz Día de los Muertos! To celebrate, Jorge looks at how the script for Disney’s “Coco” mixes two languages the same way the movie interconnects cultures.

I’ve written a couple of pieces in this site before about Coco. It was an extremely intimate and touching experience to be able to see my native culture represented to accurately and lovingly. It is a movie that perfectly captures the spirit of Mexicanism, of our fragile and ever-present relationship with death, family, and tradition. 

I saw the movie twice in theaters: once in its original English, and once in its Spanish dub. While I consider the dub to be a better version (but that perhaps has to do with the way I’ve always experienced animated films), the English one made me consider a new aspect of the film: the way it handled Spanish. It’s a movie explicitly set in a different country; one where a different language is spoken (unlike say, Brave). How can the script incorporate this essential cultural element without making it seem unauthentic? It turns out, they do it muy bien.

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Wednesday
Oct242018

25 Films to Compete For "Best Animated Feature" Oscar Noms 

WELL WELL WELL

Just last night we were speculating about what might be on Oscar's eligiblity list for Animated Feature and today, two weeks ahead of schedule (according to when they usually announce that is),  the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has gone and revealed the list. Perhaps we should have bought a lottery ticket?

Five of the 25 titles listed after the jump will go on to Oscar nominations in January...

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Tuesday
Oct232018

Which lower profile films might surprise in the Oscar Animated Feature race?

by Nathaniel R

Early Man was one of the earliest titles released. Will Oscar remember it? They do love Aardman filmsAs Oscar watchers know it requires only 16 eligible animated features to trigger a 5-wide shortlist of nominees for Best Animated Feature. That number is fairly easy to hit, making this category rather more like the Tony Awards than the Oscars or Emmys, in that it's drawing from a very limited pool. You have, statistically, quite a good chance of getting nominated if you exist. The Academy generally reveals the eligibility list between November 6th and the 15th.

Obviously we know that high profile films from studios and animation houses like Pixar (Incredibles 2), Disney (Ralph Breaks the Internet), Warner Animation (Smallfoot, Teen Titans Go!), Fox Searchlight (Isle of Dogs), Universal (The Grinch), Sony Animation (Into the Spider-Verse, Hotel Transylvania 3), Aardman (Early Man -- which was just nominated for the European Film Awards), and Paramount (Sherlock Gnomes) will be hoping to snag one of the five coveted nominations but what of the lower profile titles? History suggests that one or two of them could muscle their way into the shortlist ahead of an arguably less inspiring American option...

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Saturday
Oct202018

Middleburg: "Ruben Brandt" Collects and "Widows" Thrills

Day two of the Middleburg Film Festival

Friday kicked off with a special "sneak" of Stan & Ollie (which, more on tomorrow) and then two more movies which went like so...

Ruben Brandt, Collector
From the opening shot of this animated film from Hungary you know you're in for an idiosyncratic lark. We're humorously crosscutting between an ultra fast moving train and the molasses crawl of a snail on the tracks. Then we're inside the train with Ruben Brandt, a famous psychotherapist who is promptly attacked by a little girl with a very sharp bite who is dressed suspiciously like Diego Velázquez's  "Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress". I say 'dressed like' because it's hard to make the connection at first...

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