There could be more to this: why are the majority of the characters male, why is it the female protagonist that has to Learn Things while those around her show little growth and really – a villain because of a love lost?
But: it’s an Asian family without ever turning it into a thing, for once the animation isn’t incredibly ugly (there’s even some that look traditionally drawn), there’s no soundtrack that demands emotions from you (you’ll probably cry anyway) and it’s very colourful, slightly creative and mostly silly fun for different ages.
Anyway, Fei Fei wants to prove to her widowed father that there’s really a woman in the moon to prevent him from marrying someone else. Along the way she Learns Things.
Twelve minute short animated story about a suicidal sheep that is saved by a strange red-haired man. Oh, and it promises a -possibly explanatory – sequel but the people behind this project decided against producing it, so you just have to deal with that.
It’s so fun, though. Weird and beautifully made. Which cosmos laundry machine are we in right now, and am I a suicidal sheep in another one?
To end with an absolute cliché and therefore the opposition of what this film is: what a breath of fresh air in the ocean of ugly, uninspired, too long animation films.
What’s ‘NYE’ about any of these films? Probably nothing, except that I watched all three of them on December 31 and January first. Maybe the start of a tradition.
Anyway, what they do have in common is a black male lead. With two out of three films the male lead is turned into something else, but baby steps. Right, Hollywood?
I would have liked it better if Soul would have been done with a female lead, but what do I know about soul music. For a film about one, it was definitely lacking one: just a lot of minutes going through the Kiddie-story-with-A-Life-Lesson storybook. And will Pixar ever move away from that hideous way of drawing people?
Spies in Disguise, then. This time the main character is turned into a pigeon to learn that there’s no ‘I’ in team. There’s also long action scenes, fat jokes, and pigeons-are-stupid/eat-everything repetitions that might make you slightly nauseous. Besides that, some genuine humour can be found, but that’s mostly on Will Smith’s charm.
Maybe I’ve outgrown Disney Pixar/Disney Fox-animations. When you can’t find any relief from picking things apart, it might be time.
For something completely different, I finished this holiday with Get Out. You might still remember the reviews and discourse which partly seemed to be led by “OMG, racism is the real horror??”.
I went in with plenty of knowledge (I’m a scaredy cat), but was still enjoyable uncomfortable, definitely in the first half. I always enjoy the humans-are-the-worst-monsters trope, and it delivers. The second part is more traditional horror, but doesn’t go overboard enough to lose balance. This way, you’re stuck to your seat the entire time and only want to look away out of discomfort or disgust, not boredom.
All in all, the satisfying cinematic experience I felt I deserved after two days of disappointment.
A collection of films that definitely show my versatile watch list and/or all-over-the-place taste.
Jane Wants a Boyfriend – romcom with the main character being on the spectrum. The acting and dialogue isn’t all that, and some dialogue is (quite) outdated, but changing just one element shows that that you don’t need much to add a bit of fresh air to the genre.
If anything happens I love you – twelve minute animation about parents of a child killed in a school shooting. In case you need a quick sob.
My thoughts during Bloodshot: – why is Vin Diesel still trying the humorless tough guy thing? – Did Amalfi (Italy) get some kind of Hollywood deal? It’s everywhere! – The villain gets a musical number? – Woman fridged? Check. – Don’t watch this if you’re not good with creepy crawlers. – At least there’s no pretense here: this is for everyone who wants six minute long action scenes, again and again. – A twist! Without a satisfying pay off! All this could have happened in the early 2000s, but I guess companies weren’t clamouring to turn every comic book into a mediocre action film then.
This might be my favourite Studio Ghibli. It’s less breath-taking in how it looks and how diversely weird the characters are, but I guess that it also makes it more accessible. Or that could be because it’s ‘just’ 75 minutes instead of the studio’s habit to go for two hours and over.
Is this a children’s film? I wouldn’t know, aren’t all of them? The style is of pastels and little chuckles, but with enough barbs for the viewer to scratch their head. Possibly.
Sweet girl Haru risks her own life to save a cat. Turns out that that cat is a prince, and his father decides that Haru deserves eternal gratitude. Oh, and his son’s hand in marriage, because why not.
Haru is – understandably – a tad confused and rather doesn’t marry a cat. Good thing she gets help from an unlikely angle, and the catty balance is evened out.
The Cat Returns feels more traditionally like a fairy tale than other Studio Ghibli creations, and there’s less gruesome looks and characters. Maybe you should view it as an introduction to the studio. It will also help with preventing you from feeling slight frustration about every main female character from the studio looking the same, but maybe it’s already too late for that.
Yes, I know, I’m surprised as well. This animated TV-show definitely took me a while to warm up to, and during the first two season (there’s five of them) I wouldn’t even have considered writing a blog about it. Somewhere near the end of season two, and/or the start of season three, it grabbed me. It grabbed me good.
Before starting this show, I knew little about the previous incarnations of it and therefore didn’t feel the need to complain about how She-Ra isn’t a full-grown woman this time, nor about the lack of butt and boob shots (in an animated show, yes I know). It also means that I didn’t have any connection to it, and had to invest some time and energy to feel the connection.
She-Ra is fantasy, people with magic, bad guys that want to take it, colourful stuff, talking horses, but also teenagers, queer love, building your own family and views on power and the (ab)use of it. Especially when watching several episodes in a row you might notice some repetition, but as someone who skipped a few (there’s a character I could barely handle) I can say that you can still follow the main plot without confusion.
It’s also fun and bright and there’s so much heart in it, even though the shows of it sometimes made me feel a bit outside of the target audience/too old. Oh, and the animation is nice, instead of that try-hard, ugly as possible “adult” animation we have to suffer all too often.
When you realise that you already watched this story, just not animated, five minutes before the end of the film.
I like the animated stuff DC Comics provides. Their style (usually) works, the voice acting works and because I’m not familiar with the majority of the stories, I can’t get frustrated over a film or series “getting it wrong”.
So, yes, this isn’t just a comic but large parts of the plot were used for one of the recent DCEU films as well (Superman? Superman 2?). Yet that one didn’t make enough impact on me to remember the name of, so just stick around for the animation and better dialogue.
I think the thing about DC animation is what gets me is that it reminds me of the excitement you felt as a child: when animation styles were still appealing and the plots exciting. It gives me that Wednesday-afternoon feeling, opposed to the dumbed down stuff that’s around now way too often.
Yes, the comic did it first. But moving pictures and hearing voices add a lot.
Oh, and what it’s about? Superheroes, and villains. Duh.
Holy shit, those 116 minutes are stuffed to the brink with an amusement park for your eyes. I don’t think 3D has ever been more fitting (I never finished Avatar), nor has the use of and swapping between different styles looked so seamless. Damn, do believe the hype.
Because it’s another Marvel, isn’t it? Especially, another Spider-Man, isn’t? Like there aren’t enough movies about the guy? Especially especially because they always use the same guy (Peter Parker), even though there are so many Spider-People to pick from.
Guess what this movie does.
Of course everyone knows the story of Spider-Man, so they turn it into a joke (a slightly too long one, but I’ll excuse it). There’s parallel dimensions and just a few life lessons and fun and so many visual stunners. My eyes honestly had to get used to all the attention, detail and movements. And the soundtrack! I believe that the last time I left a superhero-showing this pumped and satisfied to be Black Panther. Come to think of it, is there a Black Panther-Verse?
With the one slightly too long ongoing joke being the only minor fault I can find, I’d definitely recommend you to go watch this. And yes, in 3D as well.
Ja, wat is dit dan nu weer? Om de zoveel tijd probeer ik een geanimeerde serie, omdat ik daar mee ben opgegroeid en fijne herinneringen aan heb terwijl ik tegelijkertijd niet die nostalgische meut met ‘vroeger was alles beter’ wil zijn. Om die reden is veel anime niet aan mij besteed, maar er is meer animatie dan anime.
Onderdeel daarvan is The Hollow, een Canadese serie die nu op Netflix te vinden is. Het zijn dan wel tieners die in een vreemde wereld wakker worden zonder dat ze weten wie en waar ze zijn, het is zeker geen kinderachtige serie. Na een ietwat log begin, ontvouwt de serie in iets dat Dali-light genoemd zou kunnen worden; minotaurussen, poorten naar andere werelden, het zieke paard van de Dood en zo verder. Het is vreemd en soms een beetje eng, tot één van de hoofdrolspelers weer zijn rol als comedic relief invult.
Het unheimliche gevoel verdwijnt snel wanneer de clue bereikt is, en de serie wordt weer standaard zaterdagochtend-kindertelevisiemateriaal. Misschien hoef je de laatste aflevering niet eens te bekijken. Maar daarvoor … daarvoor is het best allemaal vermakelijk met een vreemd randje.
There’s two points of critique from me, for this movie. One: why wasn’t it entirely drawn like some scenes and the credits. Two: if this is a Mexican based story, why were the voice actors of the main characters not Mexican?
But if you want a shot of colour, life and love on a gray (winter’s) day, The Book of Life is definitely for you. Sometimes it feels like an animated version of Moulin Rouge, with the use of pop songs and references. It once again shows that how you dress a story, any story, is a large part of the appeal.
Two boys and one girl are the best of friends, they grow up together. But both are in love with the girl, and supernatural creatures use them as pawns for their entertainment. What will happen, who will survive, who will she choose? And why does the Land of the Remembered look so awesome?
Visit for the looks of things, stay for the happy feeling it will leave you with.
The Book of Life, Twenty Century Fox Animation 2014