Tag Archives: Walt Disney

Now Playing: ‘Ponyo’ swims the dazzling sea of Miyazaki’s imagination

13 Aug

ponyo 3copy

Ponyo(Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea) (G) 100 min. Directed and Written by: Hayao Miyazaki.  Featuring the voice-work of: (English version) Ponyo: Noah Lindsey Cyrus, Sosuke: Frankie Jonas, Koichi: Matt Damon, Lisa: Tina Fey, Gran Mamere: Cate Blanchette, Fujimoto: Liam Neeson. With Betty White, Cloris Leachman and Lily Tomlin. Art Direction: Noboru Yoshida. Cinematography: Atsushi Okoi. Chief Animator: Katsuya Kondô. Original music by: Joe Hisaishi.

cinemagrade A-

 Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo is a welcome breath of fresh air for the world of animated film. For starters, the Japanese master’s latest is a delightful throwback to a not-so-distant time; the era of hand-drawn 2-dimensional, cell-animated films. While it’s true that cell animation is still a viable means of expression internationally, American theaters have not seen such product  in quite awhile. Thankfully, Walt Disney, prompted byPixar head John Lasseter, is attempting to reverse that. Tomorrow, Ponyo will be given a wide-release in theaters (the largest a Miyazaki film has had here in the West) and in November, the mouse-house will release The Princess and the Frog,  its first traditionally animated film(I’m not counting the opening of Enchanted or all of those DTV cheapies) since 2002’s  pathetic Home on the Range.

Ponyo offers all audiences, both the newcomer and the Miyazaki faithful, something both artistically beautiful and conceptually original. Created in a simple, elegant style with water-color pastels, this fantasy is driven by its vibrant, otherworldly visuals and by its creator’s keen sense of child-like wonder and knack for off-kilter, human details. Skewing to a younger audience than some of Miyazaki’s other animated ventures, like Princess Mononoke or  Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo is an honest-to-goodness family film; it isn’t just appropriate for all ages, it has the potential to entertain all ages. Continue reading

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The Hi-Def Version of the ‘Tron Legacy’ footage…Groovy!

27 Jul

light cycle tron

July 27th, 2009–

“Who’s that guy?”

“That’s Tron. He fights for the Users.’

Ahh. Tron. One of the pure bastions of the 1980s. Love it or hate it, Tron really encapsulates that decade’s attitude and perspective on technology, gaming and the idea of virtual identity. To think that this film was released when video games were little more than Pac Man and Space Invaders and yet look at the way in  which it approaches the idea of  interactive environments and user avatars. It was clearly ahead of its time. As a kid I wasn’t a fan. I’d watch it in the same capacity I also watched Dune or The Blackhole; drawn in by the complex oddness on-screen and a world  so completely alien that I kept looking at it even when the ideas didn’t make much sense or the characters failed to compel. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Tron and I think I’m ready to take another look. Continue reading