Animation

Reviewer: James van Maanen
Rating (out of five): * * * *

The Queen and her Corgis, Churchill and his bulldog, J.R. Ackerley and Tulip.  If that last one doesn't ring the bell, no matter: a gong may sound in perpetuity once you've seen the new animated film My Dog Tulip, the newest from husband-wife filmmaking team Paul and Sandra Fierlinger.  J.R Ackerly, a British literary editor and writer, had his book of the same title (a reminiscence about the relationship between him and his dog) published in 1956 in England and later here in America. Reissued by New York Review Books in its Classic Series, Tulip is currently that series' best-seller.

While all this may sound a bit like the Brit version of Marley and Me, be assured that it is not.  For one thing, Tulip is not a film for children. One of the first things to greet us on-screen are the book author Ackerley's words: "Unable to love each other, the English turn to dogs."  Sad, ironic, rather nastily funny -- and definitely not for kids. The story that unfolds thereafter tells of a quiet, highly intelligent and lonely man who has never had a committed relationship with another person.  Into his life comes the dog Tulip.

Blog entry 07/12/2011 - 12:54pm

Reviewer: Craig Phillips
Rating (out of 5): ***½

HBO's Ricky Gervais Show is basically an animated version of British comedian-actor-writer Gervais' hugely popular podcast--previously a radio show--and while calling it the funniest cartoon series ever based on a radio show/podcast may sound like damning with very faint praise, what's important is that it is indeed funny. Sometimes screamingly so.

(Sometimes screechingly so, if you count their running "Monkey News" segment.)

The premise of the show is simple: Gervais sits in a radio studio with his frequent cohort, Stephen Merchant (a frequent creative partner in crime, including co-writer and co-director of the UK Office and the series Extras, in which Merchant also appeared). They are joined by their producer Karl Pilkington, who Gervais dubs the "round-headed buffoon," and they chat and muse on various odd news, thoughts, history and so on.

Blog entry 01/10/2011 - 7:13pm

 By Simon Paul Augustine

Shorts:

8. Bambi Meets Godzilla (1969).

Long before South Park broke out of DIY cartoon obscurity to become a cultural force, and You Tube allowed every aspiring animator to crawl out of the woodwork, independent animation was represented by things like this two minute national treasure. It was a burst of irreverence and innovation way back in the days when to see this sort of piece you had to set up a Super 8 or 16mm projector in the den to entertain folks for a special occasion - yes, handle actual celluloid (other short films like Hardware Wars, a satire of Star Wars featuring toasters battling other kitchen appliances, fell roughly in this same category).   

Read on for the rest!

 

Blog entry 01/07/2011 - 12:04pm

9contest.jpg An action-packed adventure, director Shane Acker’s animated fantasy epic 9 is the feature-length expansion of his Academy Award-nominated 2004 short film of the same name. The screenplay is by Pamela Pettler (Monster House); and directors Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Nightwatch) are among the feature version’s producers. 9 is set in the too-near future, after an apocalypse. The stellar voice cast includes Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly and Martin Landau. It opens Wednesday, 9-9-09 (of course). And now, thanks to GreenCine and Focus Features, you can win our new 9 contest.

 Five (5) winners will receive the 9 prize bundle, including the official movie soundtrack CD, book, mini-poster and trading cards (featuring all characters). Click link below for details on entering.

Blog entry 09/04/2009 - 12:28pm
Poll 08/19/2009 - 12:19pm

Vincent Parannoud and Marjane Satrapi By David D'Arcy

"Persepolis is a simple story told by simple means," writes AO Scott in the New York Times. "Like Marjane Satrapi's book, on which it is based, the film, directed by Ms Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, consists essentially of a series of monochrome drawings, their bold black lines washed with nuances of gray. The pictures are arranged into the chronicle of a young girl's coming of age in difficult times, a tale that unfolds with such grace, intelligence and charm that you almost take the wondrous aspects of its execution for granted."

David D'Arcy talks with Satrapi and Paronnaud about the importance of humor, perils of miserabilisme, the current state of comics and animation, and the ways Iran is now perceived - and misunderstood.

 

Blog entry 12/25/2007 - 9:31am
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Poll 08/13/2007 - 3:11pm
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