Author Topic: Animation Education  (Read 5625 times)

Junior

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2016, 11:45:17 AM »
I see where you're coming from on the McConafront. I didn't like him too much the first time through. Something clicked into place for me the second time, though. Maybe it was just that I knew what I was going to get from him and could therefore go with it more easily? He's certainly not the voice I would have thought for a Japanase folklore-ish tale. Theron, on the other hand, is spectacular from moment one. I saw it as a slightly kinder extension of her Furiosa role in Mad Max. She brings the intensity in a wonderful vocal performance, and the animation matches it very well. I think you're right in that the technology (they 3D print each individual face, I think) isn't quite there yet. Almost, but not quite. That being said, I really loved the eyes in this movie, though those might be done with computers. Anyways, sorry you didn't love it!
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pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2016, 07:24:57 PM »


Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade  (Okiura Hiroyuki, 1999)

Don't put any stock in this review. I'm pretty clearly just the wrong audience for Jin-Roh. It's probably no reflection on the film itself — a film which a lot of people seem to like, including all three Filmspotters who've watched it so far for the 1990s Far East Bracket.

I just have issues. For one thing, I bore very quickly with animation that seems like it's just storyboards for a live-action film. I'd almost always prefer to watch the hypothetical live-action film. I'm partial to photography and real human faces. Now, if Jin-Roh were about a brigade of actual wolves (which it damn well should have been), then, yeah, animate the hell out of that sucker. But, alas, there are no true wolves in this movie. Just metaphorical ones.

And that's another issue I have. I have a very low tolerance for when characters in a film talk in the metaphors of the film's subtext. Jin-Roh incorporates the fable of Little Red Riding and the Big Bad Wolf in some cool ways ... at first. But the screenplay just goes further and further with the parallels, and the allegory starts infecting the characters' dialogue and, ugh, I just can't. Even all the needlessly confusing exposition about that various sects within the capital police force was more palatable than that.

The film that exists in my head — about an army of wolves fighting Nazi occupiers — is a Top 100 film for sure. But it doesn't exist. This other film is an impostor. A wolf in human's clothing.

Grade: C

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« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 12:33:40 PM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

smirnoff

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2016, 09:17:00 PM »
What is your favourite animated film? I'm curious now.

pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2016, 12:15:22 AM »
What is your favourite animated film? I'm curious now.

It's still Bambi. As for as features go, this list is still pretty accurate, except for the inclusion of A Boy Named Charlie Brown, The Sword in the Stone, and South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut; and the absence of My Neighbor Totoro, Song of the Sea, and Wreck-It Ralph.

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

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2016, 05:14:53 AM »
I'll add Longway North to the "Miscellaneous" category. And let's add The Twelve Tasks of Astérix, since Corndog has Asterix and Cleopatra in there and those two are always competing for the title of best Asterix animation film.

Also : The Little Prince (Mark Osborne, 2015), is pretty good and mixes Pixar-style 3D with stop-motion rather nicely.

I second all of these. I would also add a few other French movies that I don't think were mentioned yet. Sadly, French movies are often left out of lists like this even though the country consistently produces great animation.

Astérix et le Domaine des Dieux
Michel Ocelot : Azur et Asmar and Kirikou et la Sorcière
Ernest et Célestine
Le Chat du Rabbin

Le Roi et l'Oiseau
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2016, 05:23:38 AM »
I also second these oft overlooked movies and/or personal faves.

I assembled this list at one point, based on a similar idea. Some of the titles may help:
      
Miscellaneous               
Animal Farm      
The Lord of the Rings   
The Secret of NIMH   
The Land Before Time   
All Dogs Go to Heaven      
Rock-A-Doodle      
FernGully: The Last Rainforest   
The Nightmare Before Christmas   
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm      
The Swan Princess      
James and the Giant Peach   
Anastasia      
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker   
Titan A.E.   
Metropolis
Persepolis   
Fantastic Mr. Fox   
Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance      
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs      
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2      
The Lego Movie   


I took out the anime movies because they require previous knowledge of the series but the Evangelion Rebuild movie series stands on its own, so that I would recommend.

Congrats to Corndog for including thinks like The King and the Mockingbird in his list. I hadn't noticed it before. Top notch taste.
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pixote

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2017, 12:28:06 AM »


Fantasia 2000  (Hendel Butoy & Don Hahn, 1999)

I could really could do without the live-action interludes, though I suspect I felt the same way after watching the 1940 film. I would much rather have had things hosted by Mickey, as the Sorceror's Apprentice, drawn in the original style, and let that be the link between the films, rather than recycling that segment. The new film ends on its best note, with the Stravinsky-inspired The Firebird being a worthy successor to Night on Bald Mountain / Ave Maria. The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Shostakovich) is the other real treat. The frozen, nonplussed look on the toy soldier's face every time he's in peril proves delightful time and time again; and the evilness and destruction of the jack-in-the-box surprised and appealed to me with its dark maturity. Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven with the whales) plays better in my head than it did live, due to the computer-generated imagery looking a bit primitive. A few of the musical choices struck me as somewhat uninspired, but Fantasia 2000 still managed to surpass my wary expectations.

Grade: B-





The Iron Giant  (Brad Bird, 1999)

I was a bit nervous to revisit The Iron Giant, but it's lost none of its appeal. Every shot of the giant against the landscape is magic, especially at the treetops. The animators do an especially impressive job imbuing him with character, despite his mostly being just a tower of metal. The subtle ways in which they draw a personality and even a soul out of that metal is a true highlight of the film. I find the atmosphere of the movie to be super appealing, like hot chocolate on a winter's day. The filmmakers' nostalgia for the period setting is irresistible. The backgrounds are all really nice, and the voice acting is top-notch. There are of course things I don't especially like (many of them involving Kent Mansley), but those seemingly obligatory moments, the script is great about taking its medicine and moving on as quickly as possible. The result is easily my favorite animated film of 1999.

Grade: B+





Toy Story 2  (John Lasseter, 1999)

It seemed a bad sign early on when a non-toy (Buster) emerged as my favorite character, but I still had a pleasant time with this sequel. As dogs go, Slink is pretty great is his own right, and a great example of what these films do best: animating the inanimate in the most joyous ways and rooting the solutions to the story's conflicts in the characters' innate abilities and characteristics. (Apparently, I said almost the exact same thing in my review of the first Toy Story.) But when the film goes broad — and most of the denouement is pretty broad — it's extra disappointing, because the specificity of the other moments is so good.

The toys working together to drive a car is handled much better than the parallel scene in Finding Dory, but it's still not an ideal solution to the problem of trying to follow Al, not in the context of this world and everything that's preceded that moment. In fact, the entire third act seems to anticipate what Charlie Kaufman does in his script for Adaptation. Toy Story 3 opens with an outlandish Buzz Lightyear adventure where peril piles upon peril in silly fashion, with nods towards old movie serials, video games, and the way children play with toys, their narrative unfettered by rules. By the third act, the film takes seriously what it playfully mocks in that opening, subjecting our characters from a series of false climaxes that are a hair's breadth away from being labeled arbitrary. It never falls to the level of being bad, but it doesn't necessarily excite me either.

Emotionally, my investment is the story peaked around the time of "When She Loved Me" and the serious and affecting themes of love and abandonment and loyalty and the risk/reward possibilities of any relationship ... but for me all that's thrown away when Woody decides to stay with the Roundup Gang. Even though he's kind of a jealous dick for much of the first film, I just can't accept the ease with which he forsakes not just Andy but also all of Andy's other toys, who are supposed to be Woody's friends and, in some respects, his charges. Your mileage may vary though, as 1SO's marathon attests.

Tom Hanks' voice work is no help in making me believe Woody's decision, partly because I almost never hear "Woody", just "Tom Hanks." Even without that metacinematic awareness, I found more than a few of his line readings to be particularly poor. The Bosom Buddies star gets out-acted by the Home Improvement star here, and that's just weird to me. And I hate the type-casting of Wayne Knight, playing another immorally greedy character in another T Rex movie.

Toy Story 3 remains my favorite of the Toy Story films, even though I'd forgotten how much Lotso's character is in some ways an uninspired recycling of Stinky Pete's.

Grade: B

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« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 12:33:32 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2017, 03:08:51 AM »
Every time I hear Tom Hank's voice, I think, "Woody" ;)
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2017, 08:19:48 AM »
I liked TS 2 when I was a kid. I would like to be able to compare the entire trilogy properly sometime.
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Re: Animation Education
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2017, 08:47:30 AM »
Having rewatched them all in the past year (well, I actually hadn't seen 3), I'd say they're all pretty close, but with 2 and 3 a notch above the original. I'd say 3 is the best but I might say 2 tomorrow. Lotso is very similar to Stinky Pete, but I like him better actually, I'm not sure why. Maybe because Pete's evilness feels like a half-hearted twist, whereas Lotso seems obviously villainous from the start.

 

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