Tagged animation

UglyDolls Puts On a Colorful Face without Much Underneath

The fears of UglyDolls being little more than a phoned-in narrative built more for pushing toys than weaving a genuine tale are real. But what’s most maddening is that there’s so much potential in the concept that is left unexplored, and the film didn’t have to fall back on predictable characters and lackluster original songs to carry itself. There are brilliant themes of being comfortable with the skin you’re born in, a fear of eugenics in striving for perfection,...

Jump into the Spider-Verse for the Best Spider-Man Tale to Hit the Big Screen

Over the past two decades, there have been somewhere around 67 different Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?) swinging into theaters as part of their respective re-reboots of the franchise. It’s easy to feel exhausted at the idea of sitting through yet another Spidey origin story, disillusioned by all the awfulness to come before it. But not this time. Sony’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doubles down—in fact, septuples down—on your love of friendly neighborhood protectors, and it’s a real winner of a...

Yuri!!! on Ice Is a Delightful Anime That Will Leave You Wanting More

It’s always an unpredictable experience jumping into a mainstream anime series you’ve heard a lot about. By the time you sit down to watch it, you’ve probably heard so much about it that it’s hard to know what to expect, or even to be able to predict whether you’re likely to enjoy it. So you take the plunge, wondering just what about the show, if anything, will live up to what you’ve heard. For me, finally getting around to...

Pixar’s Chris Bernardi Shares How Art Imitates Life (and Death) in Coco

Pixar’s newest film, Coco, has melted hearts with its stunning visuals and emotional story centered around the celebration of Día de los Muertos in the week since its release. The film’s set supervisor, Chris Bernardi, stopped by the University of Minnesota on November 16 to share what it was like to be part of the creative process, and afterwards he sat down with a few local publications, including Twin Cities Geek. Coco follows the story of Miguel Rivera, a budding...

Here’s Why You Should Start Watching Anime

  Contrary to many people’s experiences, I didn’t start watching anime when I was a kid. Cable was a luxury my household didn’t have, and even if we did, I know my parents would’ve restricted my access. Instead, my experience with anime came much later when I was a full-fledged adult and working a somewhat respectable job. The post-Christmas pause was happening across our favorite TV shows, so my husband and I decided to give anime a try. We...

Throwback Thursday: American Pop Charts a Course through Our History

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. Once again, another year passes, and I take stock of my life: what has worked, what hasn’t, and where I want to go. It’s hard to figure out the latter, however, when you don’t think about where you came from. A film I absolutely love that shows this journey...

Everything Is By Design in Disney’s Moana

There is something to be said about Disney and its love affair with Hawaiian and Polynesian/Pacific culture. With Moana, in theaters today, we are once again introduced to the beautiful Pacific with Disney’s new princess. However, unlike in Lilo & Stitch, there is a bit of a misconception about this film. It is not a Hawaiian film at all—instead, it centers on the South and North Pacific lore of the demigod Maui by reinventing much of the preexisting stories and intertwining them with...

Throwback Thursday: The Historical Impact of Heavy Metal

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past—“classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important/interesting/fun or all of the above. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I try to base my columns on certain themes, such as, “feel-good films,” “winter,” “The cinematic adaptations of Philip K. Dick,” etc. Occasionally, I will have a random film, but having a theme allows me to focus my genre love and gives...

Geek Recommendations for the MSP International Film Festival: April 7–23, 2016

I feel like a bad film geek. An especially bad film geek. Here I am every week extolling the virtues of films from around the world in my Throwback Thursday column, and yet I didn’t know there’s an annual festival right here in town that celebrates the diversity of films from around the world. To make up for this grave oversight, I’d like to share with you some information about the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. It’s been...

Throwback Thursday: More Human Than Human? Logging in to Ghost in the Shell

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past—typically “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important in some aspect. Following the huge animation jump of 1989’s Akira, anime took another leap in 1995 with Ghost in the Shell. Using a mixed process of digitally generated animation, which combined cel and computer graphics in a new and unique way, it was a box-office hit in Japan and did fairly well in its US...
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