Author Topic: Animation Education  (Read 5504 times)

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2016, 05:38:16 AM »
This one is short and a bit of fun. Bill Plymton's 25 Ways to Quit Smoking

pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2016, 12:32:55 AM »
I'd like to join in here, if that's cool. (If I'm breaking up your flow, let me know, and I'll move my posts to another thread.) I started working through all the Disney animated features a long time ago, and then started in on Studio Ghibli a little while ago. Picking up where I left off, my complete list of remaining titles looks like this:

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)
Victory Through Air Power (1943)
Animal Farm (1954)
A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Charlotte's Web (1973)
Pete's Dragon (1977)
Watership Down (1978)
Tale of Tales (1979)
The Black Cauldron (1985)
An American Tail (1986)
The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
Oliver & Company (1988)
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
All Dogs Go to Heaven  (1989)
The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Rock-a-Doodle (1991)
Aladdin (1992)
The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Pom Poko (1994)
Thumbelina (1994)
A Troll in Central Park (1994)
Pocahontas (1995)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
James and the Giant Peach (1996)
Hercules (1997)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Anastasia (1997)
Perfect Blue (1997)
Mulan (1998)
A Bug's Life (1998)
Tarzan (1999)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Fantasia 2000 (1999)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
The Iron Giant (1999)
Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)
The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
Titan A.E. (2000)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Shrek (2001)
Spirited Away (2001)
Shrek (2001)
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Treasure Planet (2002)
The Cat Returns (2002)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Brother Bear (2003)
Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
The Triplets of Belleville (2003)
Home on the Range (2004)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Mind Game (2004)
Chicken Little (2005)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
5 Centimeters Per Second (2007)
Enchanted (2007)
Ponyo (2008)
Waltz With Bashir (2008)
Sita Sings The Blues (2008)
Tangled (2010)
The Illusionist (2010)
Cars 2 (2011)
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
Rango (2011)
Wolf Children (2012)
Monsters University (2013)
The Wind Rises (2013)
When Marnie Was There (2014)
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
The Boy and the Beast (2015)
Anomalisa (2015)
Long Way North (2015)
Zootopia (2016)
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
Moana (2016)
The Red Turtle (2016)
My Life as a Zucchini (2016)
The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

78 films. I'd like to get through a third of them by the end of the year, but my reach always exceeds my grasp with these things. I have about sixteen separate marathons going on at once right now, but Animation overlaps with quite a few of them (e.g., Far East Brackets, Filmspots, Retro Filmspots), so maybe there's hope.

pixote
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 10:26:12 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

1SO

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2016, 12:53:55 AM »
Trying to figure out why the photos in Sam's last post don't show.

http://cinemasights.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/perfectblue.png?w=300

could be that cinemasights pics are not embeddable. They need to go through Imgur. I thought perhaps 'w=300' contradicts the earlier code "[img width=400]" but that didn't fix it.

pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2016, 12:58:28 AM »
They're not viewable here either, I suspect because cinemasights has been marked as private.

Quote
403: Access Denied

This file requires authorization:

You must be logged in
and a member of this blog.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2016, 11:02:13 AM »
Welcome, pix! The more the merrier!

And yea, the CinemaSights images don't work anymore.

pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2016, 06:25:32 PM »


A Boy Named Charlie Brown  (Bill Melendez, 1969)

This is a weird little film. The beginning few scenes are the best, with Rod McKuen's title song setting the perfect, leisurely tone of a lazy summer day; followed by Schoeder stealing the show as he goes over signs with Charlie at the pitcher's mound ("They're right. You do look kind of cute standing there."). The scene of Lucy, as Charlie's hired therapist, using a slideshow to illustrate his many flaws is one of the film's other really funny moments, along with Snoopy's always enjoyable mugging for the camera.



The Oscar-nominated score (did you know that this film lost an Oscar to the Beatles?!) is all over the place, from the heights of Vince Guaraldi's score and McKuen's aforementioned title song; to the middle ground of the spelling lesson "I Before E"; to the depths of "Champion Charlie Brown". The non-original music is even more bizarre, with, on the one hand, the film's inclusion of "The Star-Spangled Banner" calling to mind The Parallax View; and, on the other hand, Schroeder's performance of Beethoven's "Pathetique Sonata" providing the foundation for the all-too-rare sequence in the film where the animation is actually interesting.



Wikipedia's summary of the art design is spot-on, so I'll just quote it here at length:

Quote from: Wikipedia
The film itself has moments where there is rotoscoping prevalent, as in the sequence when Snoopy skates, and bleached-out silhouettes of real hockey players are visible behind him. Some backgrounds have a pop art feel, similar to much animation of the late 1960s, as in "The Star-Spangled Banner" sequence, where the images are purposely chaotically edited, or the sequence where Schroeder plays Beethoven on his piano, which effects a surrealistic quality similar to Disney's Fantasia.

There also seems to be a strong Andy Warhol influence, wherein actual photographs appear to have been painted over in semi day-glo psychedelic colors (this is particularly evident during the film's closing credits). Melendez, who had previously worked with Bob Clampett on cartoons back in the 1940s, also uses garish colors in some sequences, which takes its cues from many Clampett backgrounds, particularly a Warner Bros. cartoon called The Big Snooze which was directed by Clampett and which Melendez had also worked on. Many backgrounds are also rendered in watercolor, or simple pen strokes, or fine lines, or sometimes all three at once. There are scenes where colors will change solidly and erratically, as witnessed by the Snoopy "Red Baron" sequence in the film. Perspective and horizon points are showcased in the "I Before E" scene. Split screen is also used to much effect in A Boy Named Charlie Brown, as well. But even with all these theatrical enhancements, at its core, the film still has the look and feel of many of the Peanuts television specials.

Last line bolded for emphasis. In general, I actually enjoy the simplicity of the aesthetic of the typical Peanuts specials, and I think it could be manageable even at feature length, but A Boy Named Charlie Brown is frustrating in being too faithful to the comic strip form. The film almost never gives us a a second angle on a given scene, making the film willfully two-dimension, in very limiting ways. The few times that we are granted a second perspective on a scene are downright liberating, reinforcing just how confining the general style is.



I wasn't expecting much of a story in this film, just a collection of scenes, loosely is strung together, so the focus on Charlie's trip to the National Spelling Bee was something of a welcome surprise ... to a point. The film gets caught in that middle ground where the main story arc is so flimsy that it'd be almost better to have no story at all. You could honestly watch this film at 2x and really not miss much, excect for whatever subliminal messages are buried in one sequence (I need to grab some screenshots after posting this review and figure out exactly how I've been brainwashed). The languid pacing is such a jolting contrast to Keaton films I've been watching, many of which I wanted to watch at half speed to appreciate everything that's going on.



The film really could have used doses of Peppermint Patty, Marcie, and Woodstock. I'm not hugely knowledgeable about Peanuts in general, but I definitely the absence of the full gang here. (Peppermint Patty appears in the film but doesn't say anything; regular Patty is one of the main characters, however. I'd forgotten there was a difference, which confused me.) Except for Schroeder, the kids are kind of irritating. Charlie Brown's "good grief!" misfortunes are nice in small doses, but he carries too much of the film and his neuroses wear out their welcome. Linus is appealing when he's being unexpectedly literate and worldly, but his separation anxiety from his blanket in the second half of the film is a one-note joke that quickly annoys. Lucy is just a horrible, horrible little brat. I hate her so much here, both as a person and as a character. She destroys the tone of the film whenever she's around.

All told, A Boy Named Charlie Brown is a decently pleasant film at best, but really not that exciting and ultimately disappointing and certainly not worthy of this list.

Grade: C+

A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home are both available to stream on Hulu.

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« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 01:12:17 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2016, 07:12:14 PM »
A Boy Named Charlie Brown  (Bill Melendez, 1969)

You could honestly watch this film at 2x and really not miss much, excect for whatever subliminal messages are buried in one sequence (I need to grab some screenshots after posting this review and figure out exactly how I've been brainwashed).













SIDE ... BOND ... DEL RIO ... ??? ... What does it all mean?!? Am I a Manchurian Candidate now? Is Schroeder thinking about the cast of John Ford's The Fugitive while he plays?

pixote
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 08:33:01 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Junior

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2016, 07:24:30 PM »
We'd have to do some CSI style zooming and enhancing to prove it, but those look like paper stock watermarks to me. Maybe those bits were illustrated on something quite different from the normal medium and it led to this bleed through?
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2016, 08:11:31 PM »
I'm guessing you shouldn't go to any costume parties anytime soon, pix.

I'd need to watch more, but I feel like the '60s was a really interesting time for animation, cribbing a lot from pop art.

pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2016, 03:11:53 AM »


Kubo and the Two Strings  (Travis Knight, 2016)

I'm being ungenerous with the image I've chosen to accompany this review. Kubo is, at times, a fantastic-looking film. There's plenty of really impressive animation, especially in the long shots. If I'm being honest, though, the look of this style often doesn't always appeal to me at all. Many of the closeups generally put me in mind of, like, The Year Without a Santa Claus. Despite all the technological advancements that have come to pass since then, I still can't quite escape those more primitive connotations. During the hand-drawn animation of the end credits, I was like, "Ooh! Yes! More like this!" Maybe that's just my comfort zone.

I'd swear that Matthew McConaughey is doing a George Clooney impression (by way of Buzz Lightyear) in a role written for early 90s Jack Nicholson. The voice work is a little odd in general, with a lot of focus on the breaths between words. It's a weird touch, meant I think to add dramatic weight but for me just giving the film an off-kilter rhythm. I wanted the characters to express themselves a little more quickly and modernly or else fully commit to dialogue befitting the Edo period (or whatever). The film feels caught between two worlds, in its setting and also its tone. The real dark moments of the story don't always have the appropriate ripple effects; the characters laugh off tragedy really quickly. The Legend of Korra sets the bar for me, in terms of those tricky balancing acts. Kubo falls short.



My conscience forced me to go get this second image from the film, if only out of fairness. The awesome, V for Vendetta look of Kubo's villainous aunts showcases the film at its best. While the film is bit too theme-heavy for my tastes, I still always appreciate when any film strives to be epic, especially a nominal kids movie. The ambition of Kubo is extremely commendable; but the execution doesn't quite match.

Grade: C+

pixote


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« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 01:12:31 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

 

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