Archive for category: Animation

Film Review: ‘The Boxtrolls’

26 September, 2014 (08:47) | Animation, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

One of the impressive things about The Boxtrolls is how quickly it establishes just what exactly boxtrolls are. It’s complicated: Boxtrolls are odd gnomelike creatures that live beneath the streets of Cheesebridge, living off the town’s rubbish and clothing themselves in discarded boxes. Cheesebridge is a vertiginous 19th-century hamlet, apparently in England. This is key, because […]

Film Review: ‘A Letter to Momo’

4 September, 2014 (08:17) | Animation, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Goblins are disconcerting, even if their worst offense (in this case) is stealing food. For an 11-year-old girl named Momo, they are more annoying than terrifying, just another tiresome aspect of moving to the countryside with her mother. Not only is Momo expected to meet new friends and make nice with her grandparents, she’s also […]

Film Review: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2′

13 June, 2014 (08:52) | Animation, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The first How to Train Your Dragon movie was a neat surprise, a funny and spirited fantasy with a crazy setting. It also made a bundle in 2010 — so it’s time for a sequel. Say this for How to Train Your Dragon 2: It’s not as good as the first one, but they certainly […]

Videophiled Classic: Friedkin’s ‘Sorcerer’ Restored on Blu, Claire Denis’ ‘Trouble Every Day’ Debuts on DVD

1 May, 2014 (18:23) | Animation, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Sorcerer (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD) – William Friedkin spent years trying to untangle the rights to his 1977 film, an expensive dream project that he made after hitting it big with The French Connection and The Exorcist, and after suing to force the studios to clear up the legal morass he supervised a restoration, mastered from […]

‘The Wind Rises': The Last From Hayao Miyazaki?

20 February, 2014 (06:47) | Animation, by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Beloved animator Hayao Miyazaki has announced this as his final feature, which means The Wind Rises ought to be arriving on a parade float of acclaim, buoyed by pastel clouds and pulled by a collection of amazing imaginary creatures. And yes, the movie’s snagged an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature (Miyazaki won for 2001’s […]

Blu-ray/DVD: ‘Dark Knight’ and ‘White Zombie’

31 January, 2013 (09:19) | Animation, Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD | By: Sean Axmaker

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (Warner) completes the DC Universe Animated Original adaptation of Frank Miller’s landmark graphic novel, with Peter Weller voicing old man Bat with the cold edge of an angry survivor and Michael Emerson taking on The Joker with a perfectly underplayed glee for chaos. Like the first half (released […]

Castles in the Sky: Ten Films from Studio Ghibli

21 June, 2012 (16:39) | Animation, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli , a retrospective celebrating the great animation studio of Japan, kicks off on Friday, June 22 at The Uptown. The series features 15 films from Ghibli, the studio created by animation master Hayao Miyazaki, on 35mm film and plays for two weeks at The […]

‘Madagascar 3′: Third Trip Is a Charmer

7 June, 2012 (09:34) | Animation, by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews | By: Kathleen Murphy

Third in the lucrative series, this European adventure grabs you up for a brightly colored, fast-action odyssey full of energy and pizzazz — and never lets go. Three-dimensional effects are integral in Madagascar 3, climaxing in a spectacularly surreal laser light show under the Biggest Top ever. All in all, a Mad-cap romp that plays […]

DVD/Blu-ray: ‘The Secret World of Arrietty” and other Hayao Miyazaki wonders

23 May, 2012 (08:47) | Animation, Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

The Secret World of Arrietty (Disney), the latest animated film from Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli, adapts Mary Norton’s classic children’s book “The Borrowers” in the old school art of hand-drawn animation. Hiromasa Yonebayashi is the director but the sensibility is very much Miyazaki, who produced, co-scripted, and planned the production. Miyazaki is a living […]

Anarchy in the CG

9 July, 2010 (10:44) | Animation, by Andrew Wright, Film Reviews | By: Andrew Wright

Despicable Me Dir: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud Sincere Question: During this, Pixar’s Golden Age of Animation, is it somehow ungrateful to wish for an occasional decent deviation from Masterpiece after Masterpiece, in the way that Bugs Bunny and Co. served as a hellzapoppin’ corrective to Disney’s dignified heft? (Despite the repeated efforts of Dreamworks, the […]

Review: Watership Down

10 February, 2010 (11:48) | Animation, by Robert C. Cumbow, Film Reviews | By: Robert C. Cumbow

[Originally published in Movietone News 62-63, December 1979] Establishing a mythology of creation and existence based upon the centrality of rabbits in the frame of things, Watership Down endows itself with a mythic sense that takes a familiar shape. It divides roughly into three parts: the first of these deals with the journey of a […]

M Butterfly and The Sky Crawlers – DVDs for the Week

26 May, 2009 (01:20) | Animation, by Sean Axmaker, David Cronenberg, DVD | By: Sean Axmaker

M Butterfly (Warner) Warner Home Video releases a quartet of DVD debuts, all with troubled critical histories: loved by some, disliked by many, largely ignored by most. And that’s what makes their arrivals so interesting: it gives us a chance, an excuse even, to revisit the films. That said, I’m up to my eyeballs in […]

Pre-Code Paramount and Fleischer’s Superman – DVDs for the Week

8 April, 2009 (18:25) | Animation, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Pre-code Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Pre-Code Hollywood Collection / Cleopatra: 75th Anniversary Edition Universal Home Video plunges into the sex, sin and bathtub gin of pre-code Hollywood films with their answer to the “Forbidden Hollywood” series from Warner. The Pre-Code Hollywood Collection is branded as part of the “Universal Backlot Series” but it actually collects six films Paramount Pictures (Universal […]