Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hodgepodge 38/365 - Animation

This evening we went to see Disney's Moana. Great movie! I mean, if you like hero journeys with strong female leads that preach respect for tradition and hope for the future and healing of the environment, and have a lot of good humor and not a little danger and drama besides. And wow, the animation! The list of personnel at the end amounted well into the many hundreds (we sat watching enthralled). Most of the animation is CG (computer generated), and some of it (the demigod Maui's moving tattoos, for instance) blends 2D and 3D animation, as explained in this article. And here's an interview with the film's "art director of characters," Bill Schwab. I find the creative process in animation fascinating, and oh so very impressive.

Afterward, I got to wondering if there is a "best of" list of animated features. Well, of course there is—I mean, are: many of them, and no two at all alike. The following three are from earlier this year: Rolling Stone's top 40 (#1 Fantastic Mr. Fox); and Rotten Tomatoes' top 100 (#1 Inside Out); and TimeOut New York's top 100 (#1 Pinocchio).

Reading the lists reminded me of some of my all-time favorite movies—not just animated movies, but plain old movies. Coraline, Up, Toy Story 1, 2 & 3, Ratatouille, Fantasia, WALL-E, Inside Out, Anomalisa, the Wallace & Gromit claymation wonders (including Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep), 101 Dalmations, Pinocchio of course. And many more.

There are a few I've wanted to see, and now think maybe I'll seek out, Persepolis and Waltz with Bashir among them.  

Number 2 on two of the lists mentioned above was Spirited Away (2001) by Hayao Miyazaki—and it just so happens it's playing on the big screen here Thursday evening. Dubbed, but maybe with an animated film that's better: you can pay attention to the artistry. I will be there.

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