Tag Archives: cartoons

Top 25 Animated Films of the Decade: Part 1

8 Dec

 December 8th, 2009–

The list-athon continues here at Cinematropolis, as we get closer and closer to year’s end. Last week I took a look at the top 15 Asian films of the decade, and today I’ve got animation on the roster. One of the things I learned from the last list, is that 15 is just too brief a number to really capture some of the decade’s best in a given category. I’m a HUGE animation fan and to even suggest that the achievements of the last decade can be distilled into even just 25 choices, let alone 15, is difficult. As it has to be limited, I have settled for a two-part list: one for the first ten, and one for the second, with 5 choices for honorable mention. Altogether that’s 25, and the honorable mentions and numbers 20-11 are up first. Enjoy! Continue reading

Advertisements

Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree

31 Oct

0375803017_01_LZZZZZZZ

Happy Halloween everyone! Here in Baltimore it’s a foggy, overcast morning. Here’s hoping the sun comes and we can see some of those brilliant autumn leaves illuminated properly. Hard to believe the end of October is here already.  In keeping with the holiday, I’ve dug up the Cartoon Network adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree. A wonderful and childlike animation that offers the cultural and historical context for the holiday wrapped up in a story of young friends venturing out to save one of their own.

Bradbury has been evoking smoky autumn evenings and golden, leaf-strewn afternoons for years in his work and his affection for this particular holiday is evident. He doesn’t skimp on the ghouls here but it isn’t scary and it offers some educational details about the traditions and heritage that lurk underneath the candy-giving and costume-wearing.

As it isn’t available on DVD, I’ve put the entire thing up right here. If you get the opportunity, check it out. And keep your ears peeled for Leonard Nimoy as Moundshroud, the foreboding old man who owns the Halloween Tree. Continue reading

Now Playing: Apocalypse is Feast for the Imagination in ‘9’

10 Sep

9_Still_two

9 (PG-13) Directed by: Shane Acker. Writers: Pamela Petter & Shane Acker  79 minutes.

cinemagrade A  Shane Acker’s 9 is all kinds of proof that good things–great ones even–can come in small packages. Trumped up and marketed out of the wazoo recently (it’s nice to see studios finally coming behind their more unique fare) this sci-fi fantasy isn’t just a story about diminutive warrior dolls battling robotic monsters in a burned-out future, it’s also an elaborate fable that approaches art. The most fascinating part is that it does all of this in a scant 79 minutes. It’s fast-paced, exotic and beautifully rendered in tones of steampunk apocalypse and Victorian gothic horror. It may be animated, but it isn’t exclusively for children. I’d dare to guess that it will more than frighten most younger children. But when the familiar and haunting strains of Judy Garland’s ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ echo across a fractured, nightmare landscape, Acker demonstrates that he isn’t just a crafty visualist but also a gifted filmmaker. He shakes up several different genres, themes, motifs and myths into one large stirring pot and what emerges is both unique and fearsome. Continue reading

‘Alice’ Looks Curioser and Curioser! A trailer for Wonderland finally arrives!

23 Jul

cheshire-cat

July 23rd–

Fantasy seems to be in the midst of it’s second wind here in America, finally recovering from the glut of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter imposters; not completely though, afterall what WAS that new Chris Columbus trailer in front of Potter 6?  Part of this new re-birth includes a return to stories and ideas that while fantastical, are a little more difficult to translate to screen. Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are looks to be one of the best movies of the year, but I don’t see any kind of epic structure there. Alice is like that too. The trailer is full of recognizable imagery, especially if you are a fan of the books and not just the Disney film, but the actualy story is rather loose when it comes to narrative. Will Burton work around that by focusing on the characters and the creatures of the world, and letting Alice play tour guide? It looks that way so far. Hey, Im just glad that  we  have a Cheshire Cat that isn’t just Whoopi Goldberg’s face in Zoobilee Zoo make-up. Continue reading

Now Playing: ‘Big Man Japan’ trades zero for hero

29 Jun

 

Big-Man-Japan_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85

cinemagrade b-

 Giant monsters tromping around wrecking cities sounds like alot more fun than it actually is. I’ve been listening to nearly every beleagured friend who has seen the new Transformers movie complain; ‘it’s just giant things punching each other–that’s it!’ Well, duh. In their case, though, I have the perfect remedy; Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Dai Niiponjin, or the english translation, Big Man Japan. Continue reading

Movie Review: Transformers–Revenge of Bay with Car-Car Binks!

26 Jun

transformers2_6

June 26th, 2009–

Hoo-ha! Our first guest reviewer! The Great Fatsby has tackled Transformers 2 and has the low-down to prove it. I have not seen the movie but TGF has and it sounds like a laundry list of the implausible and idiotic. Alot of this has been reported elsewhere but Fats might be the first one to use the term ‘Car Car Binks’.

Honestly, this is one of those critic-proof movies. When something makes 60 million dollars on a frickin Wednesday it means that a large part of its audiences knows it sucks and either don’t care or going for that very reason. Me, Im still seeing it with my dad next week. He wants to go, and I actually had a good time at the first mainly because he was there and it was a window back to childhood. I don’t have any allegiance to the transformers or Bay but I do remember watching my dad patiently try to assemble a dino-bot for me on Christmas morning or getting my first Transformer as gift from he and my mother when I was in the hospital. When I watched the first one, in a round-about way it reminded me that people cared for me. According to Fatsby,however, Michael Bay doesn’t care about you. But he does want you see his movie. Continue reading