Movie Review – World of Tomorrow

World of Tomorrow (2015)
World of Tomorrow – Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts (2017)
Written & Directed by Don Hertzfeldt

Don Hertzfeldt is a revelation in the world of contemporary animation. I thoroughly enjoyed his film It’s Such a Beautiful Day and wasn’t sure what The World of Tomorrow would be like. I was astonished. This is a fantastic animated piece that goes deeper than most live-action films would be willing to do. Profoundly deep thoughts are uttered during both of these short films that should resonate with an audience. Yet, Hertzfeldet was able to balance this with genuinely hilarious moments of comedy.

Continue reading “Movie Review – World of Tomorrow”

Short Film Showcase 2020 – #1

We’re starting off the short film showcase this year with a trio of fantastic animated films.

The Hill Farm (1986, directed by Mark Baker)
Mark Baker is the creator of Peppa Pig, but before that he made some fantastic animated shorts that played at festivals. This one tells of a few days in the life of a farmer and the visitors who come to their farm.

Continue reading “Short Film Showcase 2020 – #1”

Best of the 2010s – My Favorite Television Part 3

Over the Garden Wall (2014)
Born out of the inspiration that Adventure Time brought to Cartoon Network, Over the Garden Wall is a mini-series following two brothers wandering through a mysterious forest and encountering strange people. The series was created by Patrick McCale, who had previously worked on Adventure Time and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Over the Garden Wall is a deep dive into the Americana aesthetic of the 19th & early 20th centuries. Many musical numbers consist of pre-1950s phonograph recordings. You’ll be reminded of early animation from the 1920s & 30s in many of these episodes. There’s such a remarkable charm to this show that few animated series possess. It’s funny while being genuinely terrifying at moments, enigmatic and wistful. It’s a program that understands what nostalgia actually is and how that feeling is different from reality. Our protagonists drift through abstract forest landscapes emerging into the dreams and fantasies of others, interacting for a while before being pulled into another story.

Continue reading “Best of the 2010s – My Favorite Television Part 3”

Short Film Showcase Christmas Special 2019

Here is a over-sized serving of Christmas-themed short films from Disney to Wes Anderson. Enjoy!

The Snowman (1982, directed by Dianne Jackson)

This classic animated special features gorgeous animation, a wordless story, and haunting music. It’s a British favorite and one that always adds some magic to the holiday season.

Continue reading “Short Film Showcase Christmas Special 2019”

Movie Review – Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 (2014)
Written by Jordan Roberts, Robert L. Baird, and Dan Gerson
Directed by Don Hall & Chris Williams

In 2004, Pixar released The Incredibles, a superhero film ahead of the curve with Iron Man and the MCU not launching until four years later. My first thoughts after the end credits rolled were that Brad Bird and company had succeeded in making the best Fantastic Four film, which would be proven correct when Fox released the groaningly terrible FF live-action movie in 2005. Bird understood the core essence of these characters and about the fundamentals of what drives kids of all ages to lose themselves in an afternoon of comic book reading.

Continue reading “Movie Review – Big Hero 6”

My Favorite Underrated Disney Movies

With the release of the CG Lion King remake, I got to thinking about which Disney movies I love that don’t get that love in return. Here are my thoughts on my favorite underrated Disney animated flicks.

The Sword in the Stone (1963, dir. Wolfgang Reitherman)
While you might think this Disney version of the legend of King Arthur is just based on general stories it is, in fact, an adaptation of T.H. White which was one volume of four in The Once and Future King series, which was in turn a more modern updating of Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Not only that, Walt Disney was inspired to approve the project as the studio’s next feature after seeing the Broadway musical Camelot in 1960. Instead of a high adventure film, The Sword in the Stone is a light comedy, focusing purely on Arthur’s adolescence and the first few months of training with the wizard Merlin. The primary arc of the film is not about Arthur becoming the king but finding strength and bravery within himself. Along the way, there’s lots of great visual comedy, especially when Merlin and his rival Madam Mim start breaking out the spells.

Continue reading “My Favorite Underrated Disney Movies”

Movie Review – The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King (1994)
Written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton
Directed by Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff

I just never saw the original Lion King. I was 13 when the film came out, and in our large family, we couldn’t afford a lot of theater trips. My siblings watched Beauty and the Beast to an absurd level so that film dominated the Disney obsession our home. With the release of the computer-animated remake this weekend, I thought it was a good time to finally watch this seminal animated movie, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year.

Continue reading “Movie Review – The Lion King (1994)”