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Posts Tagged ‘animated’

 

Trailer Watch: Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph

Disney’s next non-Pixar CG-animated feature centers around an analog for Donkey Kong — the titular Wreck-It Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) attempts to shed his bad-guy image by escaping into Hero’s Duty (Halo), but inadvertently wreaks havoc in the video-game universe by freeing a digital villain (sort of like Tron?) — and it’s all mixed in with Who Framed Roger Rabbit?-style cameos from popular video game characters.

So yeah. I had a grin on my face throughout the trailer. Jane Lynch as the tough-as-nails hottie from Hero’s Duty and Sarah Silverman as an obnoxious little girl (princess?) from some kind of Candyland-lookin’ world are inspired bits of casting, and the film looks great. This one’s a must-see for me.

Wreck-It Ralph was directed by Rich Moore (long-time TV animation veteran and sequence director for The Simpsons Movie) and opens on November 2, 2012.

(h/t /Film)

Trailer Watch: Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty UK trailer

Thanks once again to Twitch, we have the UK trailer for Arrietty, Studio Ghibli’s adaptation of Mary Norton’s children’s novel The Borrowers. The marketing material says “inspired by,” because it’s a loose adaptation, with Ghibli relocating the tale to Japan.

Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the film came out last year in Japan, where it won Animation of the Year in the 2010 Japan Academy Prize (a.k.a. the Japanese Academy Awards). Two English dubs have been prepped for their upcoming US and UK releases. (The US version stars Bridgit Mendler, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Carol Burnett, while the UK version has Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong, Olivia Coleman and Tom Holland providing voices.) Arrietty hits UK theaters on August 26, 2011, and the United States on February 17, 2012.

Review: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
Starring Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyôda, Gorô Naya, Ichirô Nagai and Kôhei Miyauchi.

Most of the geeky kids of my generation were introduced to feature-length Japanese animation with Katsuhiro Otomo’s apocalyptic Akira, a stunning apocalyptic masterpiece. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my own introduction to it was when I was in the sixth grade or thereabouts. Lazing about the house one afternoon, I noticed that an animated feature called Warriors of the Wind was playing on HBO in a few minutes, so — budding animation buff that I was — I decided to give it a try. To put it mildly, it blew my little brain out the back of my skull.

I had never before seen anything even remotely like it. I couldn’t have. American cartoons were nothing like this. There were Disney cartoons, amusing fluff like Smurfs and embarrassing garbage like The Last Unicorn. Even action cartoons like Transformers (which I didn’t realize was also Japanese until many years later), G.I. Joe and the sadly short-lived Dungeons & Dragons were so kiddie-fied that even as I watched them, I knew they weren’t even remotely on the same level as Star Wars or other live-action films. Warriors of the Wind was on an entirely different level: it was an animated film for people with brains.

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Review: The Incredibles & The Iron Giant

The Iron Giant

Directed by Brad Bird.
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel, Christopher McDonald, John Mahoney and Eli Marienthal.

The Incredibles

Directed by Brad Bird.
Starring Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Elizabeth Peña and Brad Bird.

Brad Bird’s first feature film, The Iron Giant, was a tiny masterpiece that, despite almost universal critical acclaim, slipped in and out of theaters with almost no audience whatsoever. (The film made back only half of its $50 million budget.) Loosely based on Ted Hughes’ 1968 children’s book, The Iron Man, the less-suable-by-Marvel-Comics Iron Giant is the story of Hogarth Hughes (Eli Marienthal) and his giant, monosyllabic robot (a perfectly typecast Vin Diesel) from outer space, set during the Russophobic 1950s. Sent to investigate what is initially believed to be a meteorite landing, Kent Mansley (Happy Gilmore‘s Christopher McDonald) quickly learns that something else is wandering out in the woods near the Hughes’ home. Once Mansley finds his proof, General Rogard (Frasier‘s John Mahoney) comes in to destroy the giant at all costs. At turns hilarious, poignant and thrilling, The Iron Giant gets a bit heavy-handed with its anti-gun message, but not so much so that those of us without racks on our pick-ups would be turned off.
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