Animated News 3/10/16

Hey guys!  I’m excited to share with you a new video series I am trying out. It’s a video where I cover all the news in both animated TV shows and movies.  I thought of this because I don’t really like reviewing trailers, so it seemed like a good way to cover the trailer but also other topics that I think are interesting.  I figured I could make my viewers aware of smaller projects or shows that might be off their radar.

There are obviously going to be room for improvement but I think it is a pretty good start.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.

Also, what do you think of this week’s news?  In the video I cover:

Box office for Zootopia and Boy and the Beast

Trailers for Kubo and the 2 Strings and Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarves

Movie announcements for animated Ghostbusters and Surfs Up 2: Wave Mania

Utah release of Boy and the World and Only Yesterday

Aaron Springer Billy Dilly Show

Ducktales reboot image review

Cancellation of Wander Over Yonder

Tangled Before Ever After series

Big Hero 6 series announcement

Does any of this news interest you?  Let’s discuss it in the comments section here or on the youtube video.  If you feel so inclined give it a thumbs up!  Thanks so much. 🙂

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Did the Right Film Win? 2014 Animated Oscars

Well my friends I have finished my series of watching all of the Oscar nominated films for Best Animated Feature Film.  Last year I said 2014 was one of the best years in animation in a long time and now after seeing films going back to 2001, I stand by that claim.  You can make an argument for 2009 and 2010 but for not having a Pixar movie it was pretty darn good- and really diverse in style, tone and everything else.

So here is my video breaking down my thoughts on the 2014 nominees:

This is the first year I was doing this blog and have reviews for all of these films, so my thoughts probably aren’t a surprise to any of you.  Nevertheless, here is a little summary:

How to Train Your Dragon 2- A rare sequel that improves upon the original.  An epic feel to the story and some of the best animation Dreamworks has ever done.  I find the story with the 2 alpha dragons to be a little confusing and I think they give the Mother too much of a free pass for leaving her family.  But still a very satisfying, entertaining, exciting film.

Big Hero 6- A film with real heart from Walt Disney Animated Studios.  I love the character of Baymax and the relationship of Hiro and Tadeshi.  I found the villain to be clever and surprising and Sanfransokyo was extremely creative.

Boxtrolls- A wonderful stop motion film about a town whose leadership gets to wear white hats and eat cheese.  Snatcher the villain wants to wear the white hat and be respected which I think is a unique motivation and a good lesson for kids about labeling through clothing and other items.  The Boxtrolls are sweet and the humor worked for me.  The ending didn’t 100% work for me and the lead Eggs is a little flat and I don’t love the drag queen segment but it is very entertaining.

Tale of Princess Kaguya– A movie that has improved each time I’ve seen it.  A true artistic masterpiece and a story unique to Japan.  It is about a girl found in a bamboo stalk who is trained to be a princess.  She has independent instincts but she chooses to be obedient.  At first that was challenging to accept but now I love it’s different perspective.  It is so gorgeous to look at and uses music very well.   It’s a little bit of an artistically challenging movie but worth the effort.

Song of the Sea- A true masterpiece.  Even with Inside Out, Song of the Sea is the best film I’ve seen this year.  It’s got the emotional depth of Inside Out with Ben trying to deal with the loss of his mother but the hand drawn animation is stunning.  Ben’s sister is a Selkie and Ben must get her back to the sea before it is too late.  Along the way they meet an Owl Witch and other creatures so it is exciting, heartbreaking and tense.  It made my Top 10 Favorite Animated Films.  The music is stunning and I wish I could convince everyone to see it.  I love it so much .

So if I was giving away the award I would pick Song of the Sea, despite my liking all 5 films.  Of the mainstream nominees I do think Big Hero 6 is the best so in that sense the right film did win; however, I think Song of the Sea is the best of 2014.

What about you?  What do you think of these 5 films and which would you pick as best of the year?

 

Annie Award Nominees

Today the Annie Award Nominees were released.  These awards celebrate the best in animated films.  I still say this has been an amazing year for animation.  It’s certainly been one of my favorites that’s for sure. I have seen all of the nominees but 2- Song of the Sea comes out Dec 19th, and I will hopefully see it, and Cheatin I must admit I hadn’t heard of but it looks awesome.

Cheatin trailer (this is clearly an animated feature for adults but I’m ok with that.  In fact, sometimes I prefer they go all adult instead of trying to make it appeal to kids and adults (ala Hunchback):

Anyway, the nominees are:

Big Hero 6,

The Lego Movie,

How To Train Your Dragon 2,

The Boxtrolls,

Book Of Life,

Cheatin’,

Song Of The Sea (here’s Song of the Sea trailer if you haven’t seen it yet. It looks amazing)

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya.

What an impressive list.  I LOVED Big Hero 6, How to Train Your Dragon 2 (even more than original), Lego Movie, Boxtrolls and Kaguya (gave A’s to all 5 of those!).  Book of Life I really liked despite some problems (got a B). They are all so different it is tough to compare.  But again what a great year especially when you consider no Pixar and some highly entertaining films didn’t even make the list (Mr Peabody and Sherman and Penguins of Madagascar were really fun comedies).

Well, what would you pick to win?  I’d be happy with any of them winning but if I had to pick I’d go with The Lego Movie.  I know all of you weren’t as crazy about it as I was but this is my blog and my opinion so for me it was the most creative, visually inventive, had heart, showed how kids play, their randomness and fun, and it made me laugh a lot.  But I was really moved and dazzled by Big Hero 6 also, so I would love to see it win.  Same with Kaguya, which was so beautiful, and The Boxtrolls, which had a great look, and a story that makes kids (and me!)  think while charming them.  How to Train Your Dragon was an epic adventure and dazzled me from beginning to end.  Plus, I loved the flying sequences.

But push come to shove I would still pick Lego Movie.  What was your favorite? (And remember there are no wrong answers it’s just an opinion)

Movie 54: Big Hero 6

big-hero-6-poster-baymax-hi-resThis is the review you’ve been waiting for.  #54- Big Hero 6 and boy did it not disappoint.  I will do my best to keep it spoiler free and won’t tell you any more than the trailer (maybe even less because it’s kind of a spoilery trailer).

I was really excited to see this movie and that usually means I’m a little disappointed unless you are Pixar but in this case John Lasseter has worked his pixie dust and made an extremely satisfying movie.  I would be stunned if you didn’t find something to like, even love about the movie.

It is based on an obscure marvel comic much like Guardians of the Galaxy this summer Big Hero 6 creates a super hero movie of unlikely members and gives the movie just enough laughs, excitement and tears (I actually cried a lot).

Big Hero 6 is written and directed by Disney vets  Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh)  and Chris Williams (Bolt and Mulan)  with Paul Briggs (Frozen), and Joseph Mateo (Tangled).

The setting for Big Hero 6 is unique.  It is a futuristic fusion of San Francisco and Tokyo called San Fransokyo which I thought was very clever.  It is futuristic but only slightly so.  There aren’t flying cars or anything too out there.  Again kind of the way Guardians of the Galaxy felt futuristic and nostalgic at the same time .  San Fransokyo was beautifully portrayed and if you can see it in 3D do because it was so immersive and gorgeous. One of Disney’s best cityscapes ever.

sanfransokyo2 sanfransokyo

The story is about a boy named Hiro who is a genius orphan (of course. It’s Disney!) who lives with his brother and Aunt Cass.  Hiro is an instantly likable character.  Kind of like Ralph in Wreck it Ralph or Aladdin.  He’s smart and sweet and sassy.hiro2At the beginning he is just frittering away his talent at ‘bot fights’ which are illegal gambling operations kind of a like a cock fight. His brother Tadashi is also a genius but he is applying his talents at the local technical school (supposed to be Cal Poly I think) where he works with robotics.

big-hero-6-screenshot-tadashi-hamada

This is stated pretty clearly in the trailer but tragedy strikes and Tadeshi is killed but he  leaves behind a robot he has invented that is kind of like a robot nurse.  His name is Baymax and he looks like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man.

baymaxI don’t know when I’ve seen a character I’ve taken too so immediately as Baymax.  He is warmth and love and his soul purpose is to care for Hiro.  It is kind of like the ultimate mother.

Then we get our villain who was pretty clever.  I won’t go too much into things but it surprised me.  He has layers and is not clean cut like some bad guys.

villainTo defeat the masked man Hiro reprograms Baymax to fight while still keeping his brothers code for caring.  Then the team at the school gather to support Hiro and become our rag-tag group of super heroes.  They were so much fun!

BigHero6Team Big-Hero-Six-Previews I loved there were different races and sexes and that Hiro is 13.  It’s so rare in a Disney movie that the protagonist is a child or young teenager.  Most are young adults.

The voice cast is excellent and mostly unknowns but all excellent.  Ryan Potter voices Hiro Hamada, Scott Adsit is Baymax and Daniel Henney is Tadashi and they are all great.  The only famous voices are TJ Miller as Fred (one of the college guys who becomes the team), Damon Wayans Jr as Wasabi (the black guy on the crew), Maya Rudolph as Aunt Cass and James Cromwell as Professor Callaghan.

The score is wonderful by Henry Jackman and includes little snippets of pop music like Eye of a Tiger but it is brief and there is a good song you’ll hear in the trailers called Immortals by Fall Out Boy.

hug

There is such heart in this movie.  It reminded me of Up in the way we bond with a character quickly and we see their importance to our protagonist and that love we feel for the deceased character lives as a palatable force throughout the movie.  Just like Ellie’s love for Carl painted every scene in Up with love so does Hiro’s interactions with Baymax remind us of the love of his brother Tadashi.

It’s hard to think of a movie about two brothers which is so well done.  How nice after Disney gave us the love of 2 sisters they give us equal heart with brothers.

But if that kind of heart isn’t your thing there is also a nifty plot and fun action adventure like any other Marvel film.  Like I said, the villains really surprised me and there’s a good twist.  If you like The Incredibles Big Hero 6 is right up there with it.  It’s got everything Incredibles has but it’s about a group of friends instead of a family . They are both wonderful so high praise!

Also the crew all have fun personalities and bring in a lot of humor.

first_look_big_hero_6_by_randommaze-d7qlfhhI think there is something in Big Hero 6 for everyone.  It’ looks gorgeous, great performances, wonderful music, fun story, great heart.  What more could you want?

Once again I admire Disney on being so bold . I can’t think of an animated movie which has such real, modern feeling characters. At least not since Oliver and Company!

I really will be shocked if you guys don’t love it.  What an amazing year for animation 2014 has been and I hope they nominate 5 films because Lego, Big Hero 6, Book of Life, Boxtrolls and How to Train Your Dragon 2 all deserve recognition.  I honestly have no idea which I like most.  They are all so different and wonderful!

Anyway, I loved Big Hero 6.  It made me cry, laugh and carried me away with the adventure.  There is a brief section in the middle with fighting that dragged a little bit but other than that I’d say it was perfect.

Overall Grade- A+  This is officially now my new #6 in my rankings!

The short before it called Feast is ADORABLE!!

Here’s my video review