Monday, August 1, 2016

Dick Deadeye, Or Duty Done on YouTube

I've gotten out of the habit of searching for good animated films on the web. This feature, based on Gilbert and Sullivan operas and the drawings of Ronald Searle is a film that many have been dying to see. I hope you like it and maybe some day you'll be able to own it on DVD or Blu Ray. Enjoy and feel free to comment below if you enjoyed the film.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Two Animated Films Hidden in Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day

The title says it all, really. There's been very few hidden gems revealed on Cartoon Brew for a while, at least as far as the main articles go. There, however have been two of interest recently in the Artist of the Day feature.

The first is Anca Damian's film Magic Mountain. It's a documentary that blends photography with animation. It's about Adam Jacek Winkler, a Polish anti-Communist who fought in the Soviet-Afghan war.

The Magic Mountain trailer

The second is a film in progress: Dax Norman and Neil Anderson-Himmelspach's film Leptune. It appears to be an art piece in motion from the teaser available on Vimeo.


In addition to these two films, there's an interesting OVA. I never got very interested in the plot, but it's worth seeing for the visuals alone. It's called California Crisis: Gun Salvo, from Studio Unicorn and directed by Mizuho Nishikubo who also directed Giovanni's Island and Radio City Fantasy. Thanks to DustinKop from The Artifice for discovering this for me.

Watch on YouTube

Monday, February 15, 2016

Beast of Burden is Being Made

Kirby Atkins' animated feature is being produced. I found out about this from a 2015 Variety article. It's a coproduction between Huhu Studios and China Film Animation. I've been excited about this ever since I saw the trailer. It was reported in a Variety article but word has yet to reach Cartoon Brew. Here's the Variety article and the trailer.

Variety Article

Beast of Burden Trailer from Huhu Studios on Vimeo.

I know this movie won't be obscure for long, but I have to blog about something after GKIDS brought otherwise obscure movies to a mass audience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Cut Scene from Heavy Metal

I thought I'd share this deleted scene from Heavy Metal, Neverwhere Land, which I found on the web.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Abstract Animation Ought to be Mainstream

I think that somebody ought to create an abstract animated feature film and give it a mainstream international theatrical release. Think of the potential. It could be divided into different segments featuring an individual animation media. One could be hand painted animation, one could be claymation, one could be 3D computer animated, and one could be a collage of fractal imagery. The movie wouldn't make much money right away but could be very profitable in the long term as it would have very limited competition. The only competition would be from The Mind's Eye series and Animusic and those would only compete with it during the home video stage.

The film could play on emotions. One section could be themed to claustrophobia, another could be the disappearance of everything that comes with death. There could be journeys on abstract highways, conflicts of simple shapes, journeys through disgusting looking nightmare-scapes. A segment could even be devoted to procreation with shapes touching each other and making another shape with attributes of both shapes. What might the MPAA rate the film if it did? People might want to see the film just to see why it's rated PG-13 or higher(or the closest in your country's rating system). It could be the animated equivalent of Link Wray's song Rumble where it earns notoriety just by the way it looks.

Would you pay to see an abstract animated film in theaters? Would you sit through the one that already exists today? It's called "Ere erera baleibu icik subua aruaren." I found a video clip which is apparently him talking about the film in Spanish. Any help from Spanish speakers to figure out what he's saying would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Films I've Seen Since Last Post

I've seen quite a few animated films since my last post. I'll talk briefly about each.

First up is Kuiba, a Chinese anime styled animated film which is about a demon that is reborn every 333 years. The film seems to set itself up for a sequel because it leaves its plot unresolved. We discover that Kuiba is, unbeknownst to the characters, a little boy. This little boy wants to go along with his friend and fight Kuiba, so they both set out on a journey to join an army and fight Kuiba.

Another animated film I saw is called Toward the Terra. It's a science fiction anime film about a boy who finds himself taken away from his computer run city to join a group of people called Mu who are people with extraordinary powers but, usually, at the cost of frail health in other ways. The Mu are regarded by ordinary people as an enemy. The main character, Jomy, keeps the appearance of a young teenager throughout the film.

The third animated film I found is called You Are Umasou, umasou meaning 'tasty' in Japanese. It's about a young t-rex like dinosaur adopted by plant eating dinosaurs after his egg is washed down a river. He grows apart from the herbivores who include his mother and another young dinosaur the same age and he starts hunting creatures for meat on his own. He adopts a young anklyosaurus who he initially tries to eat, hence the name Umasou.

You Are Umasou Part 1 by f100002603595572

The last animated film I found online is a Filipino animated film called RPG Metanoia. It's about a boy's life with his friends as they play and RPG called Metanoia and real games outside.  Things eventually go wrong inside the game but you can watch the movie to find out what happens.

Each one of these films disappointed me to a degree. Toward the Terra is probably my favorite, and I'd give it a 7 out of ten. RPG Metanoia is the second best and I'm undecided whether Umasou or Kuiba is the better film.

The very last animated film I've seen is Ernest and Celestine. This film is released by GKids so it's not all that obscure. I saw the English dubbed version at my local independent theater, The Magic Lantern. I found the story very touching and enjoyed the illustrative visual style. It's about a mouse named Celestine who lives in an orphanage and needs to collect teeth, and Ernest the bear who's a down on his luck musician. I found it more touching than anything else, but it's still quite an enjoyable film and the best one out of those I've seen. I give it an 8 out of ten.

Feel free to share any animated films you've seen recently in the comments below.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Colorful-Keiichi Hara

Colorful is a film, based off of the novel of the same name by Eto Mori, about a troubled soul reincarnated from some sort of afterworld into the body of a boy in his third year of Japanese middle school. He's given a chance at reincarnation if he can complete a test period in the body of Makoto Kobayashi. He must take use his time to figure out why Makoto died and live well himself.

First he gets brought down to Earth, and then he gets introduced to his family of four who he doesn't relate to without Makoto's life experience: the only named family member, his brother Mitsuru, and his mother and father. The film progresses as he gets used to Makoto's family, goes to his school, and generally figures out how to live his life well.

The movie has a very interesting plot that manages to be engaging in spite of, or perhaps partially because of a very drab presentation. The color palette for the background art is very low key and the character designs and expressions are not very original. The voices, while adequate, could have been better, but it's tough to criticize Japanese voices when I don't speak the language. The former can be understood as a stylistic choice but the latter, unfortunately, cannot. The story as it develops is very interesting and is quite different from other supernatural films with similar premises such as Here Comes Mr. Jordan or Chances Are. We get to see how the soul evolves inside of Makoto's body and how he begins to take ownership of his life as he breaks from Makoto's past life. Too much more information will spoil the film which you can watch on YouTube. Suffice it to say that the story is quite inspired and you'll end the movie with a different perspective on the situation than you'd had in the beginning. I give the movie 8 out of 10 and would have ranked it higher if the characters were given more original designs and expressions.

The movie can't be embedded, so here is the link:

If you watch or have already watched this movie, feel free to leave a comment giving your thoughts.