Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some Recent Animated Films

Have you seen any animated films lately?

We went through a dry spot last year where a lot of 3D films got past us.

So We're renting them on NetFlix now:

Over the Hedge – Interesting, as it is a bit of a departure from the artistic style and even the topic and humor of the comic strip. There are truly some hilarious moments, though, especially when they use effects. This is my third favorite in the list.

Open Season – Slightly interesting. I found this mostly annoying with a few amusing parts. I don’t think that Martin and Ashton can carry a film. It needed more story and more interesting characters.

Monster House – I finished this one last night. It was really good! The story concept is lacking (“House that is a monster”) but the script was really well done. The characters were very detailed and enjoyable. I can see why Spielberg and Zemeckis produced it. It was also written by the http://www.channel101.com/ founders. I think this is my second favorite of these. They also used a Norman Roxwell style on their characters. This definitely deserved the nomination it got for the Academy Award for best animated film.

Barnyard – Not bad. Steve Oedekerk (Jimmy Neutron, Kung Pow) returns to direct his first 3D animation. This is silly, fun, and it has a good story. You can lose yourself in this story rather easily. However, nothing is overly impressive about this movie.

Ant Bully – This was also decent; it's from the director of Jimmy Neutron, John A. Davis. It has a good story, and the characters are fun. However, we really didn't need a third ant movie. There's nothing here that Bug's Life and Over the Hedge didn't do better.

Older recommendation:

Hoodwinked – Poor quality of animation due to the budget, but the story is very interesting and hilarious. It makes you wonder why nobody else has done a “story from different perspectives” type of movie. By far this is my favorite on this list.

Meet the Robinsons

We just saw Meet the Robinsons last night. It was actually really good. It was full of holes, but I saw what Lasseter did.

For those who don’t know, John Lasseter took over as the Disney Chief Creative Officer (the first animator to take the role since Walt himself). So John sat down with the Robinsons director when he took the job. Robinsons was just about finished. They had a 6 hour meeting, the director was told to redo about 60% of the movie, and the director said it was the hardest day of his life.

Well, the hard work paid off. Robinsons evokes a lot of the emotion that is found in the Pixar movies, and the quote at the end will give you chills. However, there are still holes; they are all because of the story and the fact that they pulled the story out of a kid’s book (but so did Shrek).

(1) There was just too much weirdness. If Pixar was going to create a future and family from scratch, they would have made it much more interesting and entertaining. They pulled too much of the weirdness from the book.
(2) They couldn’t advertise it properly. A friend of mine said, “After watching the previews, he still didn’t know what the movie is about.” The problem is that if you give away any of the actual story and emotions of the film, you are giving away the point of watching the film. That’s why they were limited in advertising it. They couldn’t really speak to the point of the film.

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