fantastic Cinema : 20 animation

Caught between the productions of Disney and the attacks against the trade of their rivals, the public regret often that an animation film that he is offered use the same codes of narrative and the same type of graphics in computer-generated images… If it is true that these blockbusters have a strike force promotional suggesting first that the animated films follow and resemble each other, while looking at there more closely, we discovered that the fantastic cinema allowed the expression of sensibilities and aesthetics are varied.

 

THE LEGEND OF THE VALLEY ASLEEP

Released in 1949, directed by Clyde Geronimi, James Algar and Jack Kinney, with the voice of Bing Crosby.

Ichabod Crane, an autumn day, was appointed schoolmaster of the village of Sleepy Hollow. He arrived on the scene, he meets a rich girl, Katrina Van Tassel, with whom he falls immediately in love. After the Halloween party, Ichabod must return home alone in the middle of the night, through the forest…

Second segment of the diptych of The Toad and the school teacher, this medium-length film produced by Disney’s adapted already to the work of Washington Irving, fifty years before Tim Burton and his sumptuous Sleepy Hollow. The new origin is considered to be one of the first literary works in american, as preceptor of the genre gothic belonging exclusively to european authors. The form of the tale, serves here as a catharsis for the reader (and the viewer of the shot), so he exorcised his fear of the passage of summer to autumn through a story of death, treated in a tone of grotesque by the firm to the large ears.

 

MAD MONSTERS PARTY ?

Released in 1967, directed by Jules Bass, with the voice of Boris Karloff.

Dr. Frankenstein wants to withdraw from its branch. He is tired of create monsters. It brings together a convention populated by characters quite strange to elect his successor.

Housed chronologically in between the series The Addams Family and the cartoon Scooby-Doo, Mad Monsters Party ? sharing the same trend of these kitschissimes sixties to turn in a parody of the heritage of the cinema of horror. Here it is, more particularly, the bestiary of the Universal Monsters that can be found in the form of figurines made of plasticine and animated in stop-motion, all on a background of pop music pleasing.

 

THE WIZARDS OF WAR

Released in 1977, directed by Ralph Bakshi, with the voice of Mark Hamill

In an alternate universe post-apocalyptic world, the men have mutated and now co-exist with mythical creatures such as elves, fairies, or magicians. Already defeated by his twin brother and forced into exile, the dark wizard Blackwolf is preparing, in the shade, to take its revenge, thanks to the ancient ruins of the past.

Ralph Bakshi is a master of british animation, with a style that is immediately identifiable thanks to its use of traditional animation, mixed with rotoscoping. This technique involves the redesign of the movements performed by actors in order to give more realism to the characters, while keeping a amount of freedom in their design and in the representation of a world where anticipation meets fantasy.

 

The EGG OF The ANGEL

Released in 1985, directed by Mamuro Oshii based on an artistic direction of Yoshitaka Amano.

At the dawn of a second great flood, predicting the arrival of a superior species to man, a little girl finds an egg which she keeps. She meets a young man who follows her, curious to know what is in this egg.

A parenthesis poetic in a cruel world; don’t doubt it, Mamuro Oshii director of Ghost in the shell, a monument to the cyberpunk, is experimenting with a form of visual poetry bringing the dialogues to the minimum necessary, and diluting the story in a form of a wandering contemplative mix symbolism, obscure and innocence of light.

 

THE TUNE

Released in 1992, directed by Bill Plympton.

Del, a young composer working at Mega Music, should write a tube in 47 minutes, otherwise he will lose his job. Desperate, Del chooses to go in the town of Flooby Nooby, without suspecting that he will experience it for the least surprising…

First feature film from Bill Plympton, cartoonist who preferred the voice of the independent cinema rather than deal with the big studios. Plympton continues the tradition of the cartoon american where the dynamism of the animation serves as a humorous burlesque and a crazy surreal visual, but this tradition is here diverted to a narrative of adult questioning in the throes of creation and the material contingencies of an artist. Barton Fink, lost in Terry Gilliam in any way.

 

VAMPIRE HUNTER D : BLOODLUST

Released in 2000, directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri

In the distant future, the Earth is still dominated by the vampires, even if their number is in constant decline. D, Dunppeal, the son of a mortal and the former vampire king, has made the choice to hunt vampires.

The series of novels by Hideyuki Kikuchi had already seen an adaptation in 1985, but it took this version to discover an artistic direction which is perfectly honour to the world of hybridizing several genres such as the gothic tale, the western, and the post-apocalyptic. From Mad Max to Clint Eastwood , passing by Vampires of John Carpenter, Yoshiaki kawajiri mix references to bring to the image, characters, hyper-graphics and really classes.

 

WALLACE AND GROMIT : THE MYSTERY OF THE RABBIT-WEREWOLF

Released in 2005, directed by Nick Park and Steve Box, with the voices of Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter.

A “fever vegetarian” intense reign in the small town of Wallace and Gromit, and the ingenious duo took advantage of this craze by inventing an anti-harmful human and eco-friendly, saving the lives of rabbits. All would be for the better in the affairs of two friends, if a-rabbit giant came suddenly to attack the sacrosanct vegetable gardens of the city.

First feature film of Wallace and Gromit, after three short films great, here we find all the know-how of the studio british Aardman with more budget to further refine models of the sets and the animation of plasticine. Nick Park, creator of the two characters, take the opportunity here to pay homage to a whole genre cinema, film de loup-garous, of course, but also mad scientists and King Kong.

 

A SCANNER DARKLY

Released in 2006, directed by Richard Linklater, with Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr and Winona Ryder.

The police officer Bob Arctor, a specialist on reluctant missions of infiltration, is forced to play moles to his friends-drug addicts Jim Barris, Ernie Luckman, Donna Hawthorne and Charles Freck.

When he receives orders to spy on himself, Arctor begins an inexorable descent into absurdity and paranoia, where loyalties and identities become indecipherable.

To adapt the novel Substance Death of Philip K. Dick , and convey the confusion of his protagonist, Richard Linklater chooses to capture the movements of his actors by rotoscoping, then redraw them in a texture halfway between traditional animation and computer generated images. The mix between realism and reinterpretation of forms and lights, telegraphs, and the disorder constant of these marginal characters, never knowing really where to end their delusions and where reality begins.

 

MONSTER HOUSE

Released in 2006, directed by Gil Kenan, with the voices of Steve Buscemi and Maggie Gyllennhaal

D. J. Walters, a boy of 12 years is convinced that his neighbor is responsible for the mysterious disappearance of his wife. He has also noticed other disturbing phenomena occurring in the house.

Found in the principle of comedy horror of Monster House, the charming family entertainment of the eighties. By adopting the point of view of a child and turning to ridicule most of the adults around him, both in their characterization and in their look, Gil Kenan encourages us to find a part of naivety and enthusiasm which is not without recalling the one of the Goonies by Richard Donner and Panic on Florida Beach de Joe Dante.

 

THE LEGEND OF BEOWULF

Released in 2007, directed by Robert Zemeckis, with Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie.

In a distant time, the viking Beowulf comes to offer his services to king Hrothgar; the kingdom of this last is, in fact, is often the victim of the assaults of a mysterious creature named Grendel.

Robert Zemeckis is part of a very closed circle of filmmakers and pioneers, who allows herself to experience within the entertainment, hollywood, new techniques that will school eventually. After a first experience in 2004 with The polar Express, Zemeckis deepens with Beowulf his mastery of performance capture, in order to test a realistic representation of his characters in a world that is colorful and epic.

 

FEAR(S) OF THE DARK

Released in 2008, directed by Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre di Sciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti, Richard McGuire.

An anthology whose common theme is the fear of the dark, and how it is our imagination.

French project, bringing together artists of different nationalities, Fear(s) of the dark appears like a ufo in the world of the imagination, since the basic concept imposes its six directors using a black-and-white radical, where the use of other colors is, except for rare exceptions, forbidden. The theatre of shadows as the comic knows, you can install atmospheres oppressive and to put aside the spectacular in favour of the suggestion.

 

CORALINE

Released in 2009, directed by Henry Selick, with the voices of Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher

Coraline moves with her parents in a strange house. Opening a door condemned, she enters an apartment identical to hers… but where everything is different.

Coraline marks the collaboration of two artists who were made to meet : the writer Neil Gaiman for the fantasy to contemporary needs his most beautiful works, and Henry Selick filmmaker rare and yet goldsmith of stop motion, which The Strange Christmas of Mister Jack. In view of the balance between the aesthetic universe of Selick and the poetry of weird to Gaiman, it is hoped that the two men manage to bring to the screen The Strange life of Nobody Owens, a project close to their heart for years.

 

BRENDAN AND THE SECRET OF KELLS

Released in 2009, directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, with the voices of Brendan Gleeson.

It is Ireland in the Ninth century, in the fortified abbey of Kells, lives Brendan, a young monk of twelve years. His encounter with Brother Aidan, a celebrated master illuminator and “guardian” Book of illuminations fabulous but unfinished, will result in fantastic adventures.

To give life and flamboyance of the world celtic, Tomm Moore creates a contrast between the character design and the backgrounds. The characters are chewed by the technique of the clear line, with the features of simple serving of sharp edges to the colours in flat tints, without shadows or light, while the backgrounds are flipping this print a minimalist, thanks to the richness of their forms, sometimes asymmetrical, sometimes geometric, where there is a mix of color gradients unique to the watercolor, the contrasts of the inks and the effects textures of the pastel.

 

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD : REANIMATED

Released in 2009, directed by Mike Schneider and a considerable number of other artists.

Forty years after the release of Night of the living dead, a collective of ten artists together to pay tribute to what many movie buffs consider as a monument of the horror film, as much as a precursor of a american cinema, engaged, and independent. Mixing fragments of the film of George A. Romero, sequences, faithfully following the original story, but deploying various animation techniques, from drawing to the pencil strokes of coarse the puppet of socks; the intention of the heirs is here to highlight the influence of its raster image to the popular culture, which was full today of zombies and stories of apocalyptic.

 

COLORFUL

Released in 2010, directed by Keiichi Hara.

A spirit wins a second chance at life on the condition to learn from its mistakes. It can be relived in the body of Makoto, a student of the 3rd which has put an end to his days. The mind must endure in the daily life of a teenager uncomfortable in his skin.

Crossed by a sensitivity teenager, Colorful does not hesitate to appeal to emotions, or even to the tears of spectators. Designing metempsychosis (journey of a soul to a new body after death) as an opportunity to reinterpret the life by a way more light, and as the title indicates, flooded with bright colors component and an ambience that is soft and nostalgic as the japanese culture knows we offer.

 

CHILDREN WOLVES, AME AND YUKI

Released in 2012, directed by Mamoru Hosoda

Hana and her two children, Ame and Yuki, live discreetly in a quiet corner of the city. Their life is simple and joyful, but they hide a secret : their father is a wolf-man. When it disappears suddenly, Hana decides to leave the city to raise her children to the shelter of the glances.

Mamoru Hosoda is an artist valuable to the cinema, combining the grace of its animation to its vision of the author. With The Children, the Wolves, he managed to interfere in the fairy-traditional, a look of intimate motherly love. By placing its narrative in the setting of poetry from the japanese countryside, immediately evocative to a western spectator, Hosoda compose with the variations in emotional focus of the film leaving almost naturalistic, to a progression of lyric.

 

FRANKENWEENIE

Released in 2012, directed by Tim Burton, with the voices of Martin Landau and Martin Short.

Rewriting of the myth of Frankenstein from the point of view of Victor, a boy resurrecting his dog Sparky.

Already of the time when he was working as a cartoonist for Disney, Tim Burton had managed to achieve in parallel the macabre short film Vincent, making it both a tribute to the universe ofEdgar Allan Poe , and the latter who was the more worthy representative on the screen, Vincent Price. Burton continued the fun repository with Frankenweenie, a short film shot with actors, and then developed twenty years later in the longer version of the stop-motion supplemented by synthesis images. Of the Universal Monsters the Gremlins through the kaiju japanese, if you intend to launch in a game to drink to list references, attention to ethyl coma.

 

EXTRAORDINARY TALES

Released in 2013, directed by Raul Garcia with the voices of Christopher Lee and Guillermo Del Toro.

Five stories, five moods, different graphic, thanks to which the artists have expressed better the complexity and the darkness of the universe ofEdgar Allan Poe.

If Tim Burton has never hidden the influence of the cycle of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman on his film; the Spanish Raul Garcia is going to far as to ask the patriarch of the fantastic cinema to give voice in his adaptation of the Masque of the red death. In a way, Garcia proposes an approach protean of the implementation of the short-story gothic, heiress of one of Corman that dealt with the stories by the different tones and registers : the melancholy, the black humor, etc…Here Garcia share the potential of the computer animation to play on the variations of brightness and colors to create different moods.

 

POS ESO

Released in 2014, directed by Samuel Orti Marti

Trini, the world-famous flamenco dancer, made a deep depression and leaves the scene. Damian, his son, 8 years old, is possessed by a spirit of malice that makes him commit a wickedness of the most bloody and cruel.

Pos eso is part of the lineage of comedies scary where no delirium schoolboy is prohibited, and the daring visuals are here rendered sustainable through the use of play dough. Claiming as well, in the manner of a Sam Raimi or a Alex De La Iglesia, the dual sponsorship of the gore and burlesque, Samuel Orti Marti likes to sprinkle his parody of The Exorcist, with references to many other classic horror such as Poltergeist or The Claws of the night, while integrating them into the clichés of Spanish culture.

 

PSICONAUTAS

Released in 2015, directed by Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero

Two teenagers, Birdboy, and Dinki, survive the ecological disaster that has devastated their island. Birdboy is deeply affected by the disappearance of his father, and plagued by ill-being. Dinky decides to leave the premises and undertakes a perilous journey in this dark and hostile.

Obviously, the filmmakers spaniards are distinguished in recent years by their willingness to propose aesthetic, original and this adaptation of the graphic novel is a striking example. The work of Vazquez and Rivero is not just a about environmentalist alarmist, he also portrays a state of mind desperate that contaminates both the visuals and the consciences of the characters. The discomfort operates by a treatment expressionist keeping some form of minimalist, which is not without reminding us of the bias of the video game Limbo.

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