Inside Out (2015 Film)

Inside Out is an American 3D computer animated film produced by Pixar Animation as well as released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is set for release June 19, 2015 and is loosely based off of an idea from Pete Docter. Pete Docter is best known for directing Monsters Inc and Up. The film will be also be directed by Ronnie del Carmen who has also worked on Up, Wall-E and Finding Nemo. The producer of the film is Jonas Rivera who has worked on Toy Story, A Bugs Life and Cars. Not only is the production team well known, the voice cast has been thoroughly thought through with talents of Amy Poehler, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling and many more.

Inside Out is classified as a fantasy-comedy film thats been in the works since it’s announcement at D23 Expo in 2011. The trailer looks very amusing, interesting and relatable to children or preteens trying to find their emotions and lifestyle when adjusting to a new home. After watching the trailer it reminded me of an old animation titled, “Reason and Emotion” from 1943. The film was taken place during the nazi regime and can be very controversial. Disney also made this film and i feel personally some of the elements of having emotion as a plot line are relatable to the movie Inside Out. Nonetheless, i look forward to seeing this movie in 2015 and expect more trailers to be released in the upcoming months.

The Lego Movie Review

The Lego Movie is a 2014 American/Australian/Danish computer animated film distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is not only an advertainment movie sponsoring legos and family values but it is also an adventure and comedy movie for children and adults. The film was directed and co written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller who are known for directing and writing the film, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Not only has Phil Lord and Christopher Miller made an impact on the increase of Lego purchases after this movie, they also have had many successes related to the visual style of the film, humor, voice acting and message.
      
The Lego Movie was released February 7, 2014 and is the first film produced by the Warner Animation Group.  The movie earned more than $257 million in North America and $210 million in other countries making a total of over $468 million worldwide. The overal budget of the film is estimated at $60 million dollars. With the success of the first film a sequel is planned for 2018. I strongly believe for the Academy Awards and Annie Awards, The Lego Movie will win best animation depending on the release and reception of Disney’s, Big Hero 6. Overall, I give this movie 5 bricks out of 5.

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is a 2014 Irish animated film directed by Academy Award Filmmaker Tomm Moore.  The film was produced by Paul YoungClaus Toksvig Kjar and written by Will Collins. The story has animation similarities from Cartoon Saloons previous work, the critically acclaimed, The Secret of Kells. The movie was released at TIFF on September 6,2014 and distributed by StudioCanal of the UK and GKIDS from the US.
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The Song of the Sea has had many positive reviews from, gorgeous artwork, storytelling from folk takes and magic and imagery. The movie currently hold a high 8.1 rating out of 10 from ImDb and is expected to be a contender in the list to choose for best animation at the Academy Awards.  The storyline is a character by the name of Saoirse  a child who is the last of the Selkies. The Selkies are a group of  women in Irish and Scottish legends who transform from seals into people. The story tells Saoirise’s journey from escaping from her grandmother and setting off to free fairy creatures trapped in a world of uncertainty. Being a fan of the movie, The Secret of Kells I’m very interested in seeing this movie and hope that to those who enjoy folktales and animation, will not pass up the opportunity to see an extraordinary film with high expectations and glamour.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a 2013 Japanese animated film produced by Studio Ghibli. With Hayao Miyazaki no longer making films, Isao Takahata co wrote and directed the folktale based off of, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Isao Takahata has been critically acclaimed with his past works that have included, Grave of the Fireflies, Only yesterday, Pom Poko and My Neighbors the Yamadas. This will be Takhata’s fifth film for Studio Ghibli but it will also be his first film in 14 years.

With many movies of different genres in his portfolio I feel that Isao Takahata will get more than just a few nods at the Annie Awards and Academy Awards for this year. Especially with the reception at the Japanese box office for the release in 2013 the film has been nominated for a Japan Academy Prize for best animation of the year. It also has won the Animation Film Award at the Mainichi Film Awards, placed 4th in both Kinema Junpos Top Ten and their readers choice awards. It currently holds 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and has grossed over $22 million at the Japanese box office. The United State premiere will be launched October 17 of this year and is expected to gross more than it’s $49 million budget.

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Without giving any plot lines away the 10th century folktale is considered to be of the oldest extant Japanese narratives. The story tells of the mysterious life of a girl named Kaguya and her interactions with the people she meets. The story not only discusses ones journey but it also discusses elements of romance, sadness, forgiveness, and acceptance. Much like traditional folktales the story has many meanings and interpretations. Their have also been numerous literary connections and adaptions in Japan from anime, art, opera and video games. I really look forward to the release of this movie in the United States and believe this movie will be a strong contender as a nominee for best animated feature at the Academy Awards.

2015 Oscars: Best Animated Film Short Contenders

With the Oscars being hosted February 22, 2015 there will be many updates about contenders and top nominees for best animated short. The best animated short has been around since the 5th Academy Awards covering the year 1931 to 1932. The title was originally best “short subjects, cartoons” from 1932 till 1970. Rules of the animated short category consist of “no more than 40 minutes, including all credits”. Awards also have to be presented to “the individual person most directly responsible for the concept and the creative execution of the film.” Walt Disney’s famous, Silly Symphonies and MGM’s The Dam Keeper (Dir. Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, USA)Tom and Jerry have had the most praise of the animated series, both winning 7 Oscars. Last year the nominees for best animated short included, Feral ( Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden), Get a Horse ( Walt Disney Animation Studious; Lauren Macmullen and Dorothy Mckim), Possessions ( Sunrise; Shuhei Morita), Room on the Broom ( Magic Light Pictures; Max Land and Jan Lachauer and the winner of the category, Mr. Hublot ( Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares). This year marks the 87th Academy Awards with strong contenders with new studios and artists.

My top 6 contenders are listed below. The other films are listed below with links.
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Hello Kitty Turns 40

Hello Kitty is a fictional cartoon character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio. She is an anthropomorphic white cat with a red bow from Britain. Her cartoon character has been recognized internationally since her launch in 1974. Not only has Hello Kitty been the staple of kawaii (cute) and a popular cultural icon of Japan she has also been one of the most successful cartoon characters. As of 2014 she has a net worth of $7 billion a year without any advertising. With having products sold from jewelry, checks, purses, apparel, music, video games and other media outlets and products you can think of; she is still one of the most beloved Japanese cartoon characters to appeal to young children and adults. Despite having many past controversies related to the image of the character, Hello Kitty is still going strong at 40 years old and is still creating big smiles for all audiences worldwide.

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The Book of Life Review

The Book of Life is  a vibrant fantasy-adventure, which tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love.  From my previous posts i went into detail about what to expect from the film and the development. I was able to see the movie opening day and had high expectations for the film. I enjoyed the story line, humor, cultural references and style of the film. The storyline at first seemed a little rambunctious from switching back and forth from the tale of the story to current time. I really enjoyed the overall plot of the film, and it’s message about not forgetting where you came from but also being able to express yourself.  I overall enjoyed the film but there were a few things that caught my attention.
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What i enjoyed  about the film were the designs of the characters, the quality of the pictures and the songs. I thought it was very creative that the characters designs were made out of wood/marionette material. The picture quality was beyond amazing and each scene was very detailed and picturesque. The characters were vibrant, likable, humorous and realistic. The storyline does not sugar coat what a persons flaws are and also shows what it is to be human. The movie had a strong talented cast of voice actors from Christina Applegate, Diego Luna, Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Ice Cube, Ron Perlman and Kate del Castillo. There were many other talented actors that really put forth the effort in making this film entertaining. I was a little surprised to see that there were current songs being used in a film that takes place in the past. I was a little skeptical at first but the songs didn’t necessarily ruin the movie. I also liked how the message stayed the same and the producer, Guillermo del Toro kept the cultural qualities in the film of Mexico and the Day of the Dead.  I wasn’t sure if it was intentional or not but i noticed three sayings in the film that were related to the classic movie, Princess Bride. I noticed that Monolo, the main character mentioned the quotes, “as you wish” and “prepare to die”. If this was intentional it made me laugh.
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I don’t want to say i didn’t like the movie because i enjoyed it but there were a few exceptions in the movie that i thought could have been fixed. The story line was good but i felt that it was either to slow paced in the beginning and towards the middle and end of the film where the fight scene was, it was very fast paced. With high expectations before the movie was shown i was hoping for a strong opening that i felt fell short. I expect this movie especially with animation style and voice actors to win a few awards at the Annie Awards and i did enjoy this movie better than, The Boxtrolls. I recommend that anyone who enjoys culture and music to see this movie. It can keep anyone’s attention but it also can change your perception of life. At some parts i was laughing hysterically and other scenes i was at the point of crying. This movie certainly keeps you at the edge of your seat in awe and in suspense.  I give this movie 3.5 churros out of 5.