Posts Tagged ‘ animation ’

The Book of Life


The Book of Life is a quirky animation film by director Jorge R Gutiérrez, celebrating Mexican folklore and the Day of the Dead.

The story begins outside a dusty old museum with a rag-tag bunch of temperamental children showing up for a tour and delightful guide, with long hair and a sexy smile showing them a hidden doorway.

With the help of wooden puppets she begins telling the old Mexican folktale of Manolo (Diego Luna), Joaquin (Channing Tatum) and Maria (Zoe Saldana). Continue reading

Oscars 2014: The Verdict

This Sunday marks the most prestigious night in the Hollywood calendar; the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Now many people are chiming in with their guesses for the big prizes however I have found myself conflicted on a number of categories with who I think will win and who I want win and so I have decided to acknowledge both. You can find a full list of those nominated here . Now not to ramble on like so many of the speeches this Sunday will.

Best Actor

ImageThis years Best Actor category is the most stacked category of the year. In my opinion any one of the five men nominated put in better performances than any and of the nominees from last year’s awards, Daniel Day Lewis included. We have been treated to five top class and diverse performances from five of the best actors working today. A lot of people have picked Mattew McConaughey as their pick for the winner which is perfectly understandable. In my opinion the best actor over the last 12 months is without a shred of doubt is McConaughey. Not only in Dallas Buyers Club but he also gave Academy Award nomination worthy performances in Mud and The Wolf Of Wall Street, not to mention his haunting stint on True Detective. However Best Actor is awarded to the best single performance of the year not the best Actor of the year overall. Chiwetel Ejiofor delivered that for me. 12 Years A Slave was a completely different animal of a movie which brought its cast to places rarely explored in Hollywood cinema. Ejiofor plays the protagonist with a combination of power and weakness that has stayed with me for months now. Another factor towards my favoritism of Ejiofor is that I feel this will be the best performance of his life while McConaughey has had several stunning performances, which is a testament to the man’s ridiculous talent. Continue reading

Monsters University

The guys from Oozma Kappa (OK)
The guys from Oozma Kappa (OK)

When we first met Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) in Monsters, Inc. they were professional “Scarers” collecting children’s screams to power Monstropolis.  Rewind a few years and the two loveable monsters meet at University.

Continue reading


‘Disappointing’ may be the first word popping into your head after seeing Tim Burton’s latest animation film “Frankenweenie”,  ‘boring’ may be the second followed closely by the question: “What has happened to the Wizard of Odd and his usually interesting and surprising ideas?

Frankensweenie is a feature length remake of Burton’s 1984 short and tells the story of geeky outsider Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) and his only friend, his dog Sparky. When Sparky is run over by a car Victor uses is scientific nerdyness to bring him back to life, but the joy of having his friend back is soon overshadowed by the surprising events that follow.

When Victors classmate the unpopular and very odd looking Edgar ‘E” Gore (voiced by Atticus Shaffer) finds out about Sparkys revival he wants his very own un-dead playmate. One invisible fish later and a chain reaction of creature creating occurs. And like any good old-fashioned monster movie there is a damsel in distress, an unsuspected hero and a happy ending.

Frankensweenie is a beautifully produced film and the black and white cinematography is stunning, however the 3D effects feel unnecessary.  The characters are unmistakably Burtonesque and play homage to all the great horror classics but the storyline is weak and very safe, often a little dull.

This stop-animation is not really suitable for children as the humour is quite dark and the charming slapstick scenes and horror film references are too adult oriented.  Burton is not at his best with Frankensweenie, and no matter how big a feast for the eyes this animation may be it does not make up for the lacklustre plot.

Film review: Brave

Disney is back and this time around the Princess is Scottish and animated by Pixar. This not so typical fairytale is set in the Scottish Highlands and the heroine is the feisty redheaded and hot-tempered Merida (Kelly MacDonald).

Forced by her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), to learn everything a princess needs to know and how to act in a courtly manner, Merida sneaks out whenever she can to ride her horse and shoot her bow and arrow, with her flaming red hair always free flowing and wild.  King Fergus (Billy Thompson) loves his daughters’ wild nature but bows to his wife’s will and understands the importance of tradition.

But when Merida discovers that she is to be married off to one of the neighbouring clans to preserve the peace and fulfil a promise made long ago she breaks with tradition and enrages everyone in the process.  Not getting her way Merida runs away in true teenager style and finds a way to change the course of her life, with disastrous consequences.  Of course in true Walt Disney tradition there is always a way for those who believe.

This beautifully coloured and painted animation shows the true talent behind Pixar and although this is their first venture into the world of fairytales and also their first true female lead it is much more a Pixar than a Disney film.

This truly beautifully painted story about nonconformity, real relationships, emancipation and taking life into your own hands is another wonderful Pixar film and everyone in the family will enjoy the trip to the movies.