Miss Hokusai Review

Miss Hokusai is a 2015 anime film about the life and works of Japanese artist Ukiyo-e and painter Katsushika Hokusai. The movie is as seen from the eyes of his daughter, Katushika O-Ei. The origin of this anime is based off of a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura.  The manga is a collection of short stories that are not connected. The original run of the mange was from 1983 to 1987. The anime movie was released on May 9, 2015 with critical acclaimed reviews. It won the Jury Award the 39th Annecy International Animated Film Festival.  It received its North American premier at the Fantasia International Film Festival between July 12 and August 5, 2015.Which it won the Gold Audience Award for best animated feature film. It also won Best Animated Film Award at the Mainichi Film Awards.
G KIDS expanded the movie in over 85 theaters  over weekend in the month of October . The movie runs around 90 minutes and was directed by Keiichi Hara. Keiichi Hara is known for his work on Crayon Shin-Chan, Doraemon and 21 emon. The story was written by Miho Maruo and produced by Production I.G. The movie is rated Pg 13 for some sexual tension.
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I probably would have enjoyed this movie a lot more if I invested some time in reading the manga. After seeing this movie I already am trying to get a copy of the manga series. Going into this movie I expected a long story about the artist and his life. What I did not expect was a collection of short stories from these artist and what they experienced. The story is linear but there are many stories intertwined to get a feel of the characters and their backgrounds. I absolutely loved the traditional art and with studying art history in the past I enjoyed the many  mediums they used. I also enjoyed the references of Hokusaias, Great Wave off Kanagawa  and a few other prints he did.  I would have liked to see more story background about the father, Hokusai. I thought the ending was a little abrupt but I enjoyed the short stories and illustration of the movie. The illustration was certainly not a disappointed and it kept the story interesting. I do expect this movie to make the top 10 finalist for best animation at the Academy Awards but I don’t think I expect to see this movie make the top five at the Academy Awards for best animation. Overall I give this movies story a 3 out of 5 woodblock prints.

Streamy Awards: Best Animated Series

The Streamy Awards, also known as the Streamys, are presented annually by Dick Clark Productions and Tubefilter to recognize and honor excellence in online video, including directing, acting, producing and writing. The awards were founded in 2009 with over 40 categories to choose from. Winners are determined by the Streamys Blue Ribbon Panel, a judging body consisting of creators, executives, and other people in the online industry. This years Streamy Awards are scheduled to be broadcast live on VH1 / MTV. The formal ceremony takes place in Los Angeles, California. The nominees for this year that include an animated series for both younger generations and older generations include:

1. Bee and PuppyCat (Frederator Studios)

2. Blank on Blank (PBS)

3. Cyanide & Happiness (Explosm)

4. RWBY ( Rooster Teeth)

5. Swoozie ( Swoozie)

Long Way North (2015)

Long Way North is an animated feature developed by director Remi Chaye. Remi Chaye has worked on the storyboards of, The Secret of Kells and was assistant director of Le Tablueau. Writers include Claire Paoletti and Patricia Valeix. The production includes Sacrebleu Productions that has worked on numerous stories and movies from children to adult. Long Way North, is a French film that that was released at Annecy Film Festival in 2015. The movie is about 90 minutes long and has a 7.8 out of 10 rating on IMDb.

tumblr_lygy1xDiHw1r0c5dxo1_1280The story details of a young girl located in St. Petersburg in 1892 named Sasha. Sasha is a young Russian aristocrat that has always been fascinated by the adventurous life of her late grandfather, Oloukine. He was a renowned explorer, designer de son splendid Arctic ship, the Davaï, but never came back from his last expedition to conquer the North Pole. Now, his name Is being tarnished and her family is disgraced. To save the families honor, Sasha runs away. Going a long way North, she rushes in the footsteps of her grandfather to find the famous ship.

The movie once again appeared at Annecy in 2015 and uses a 2D computer technique. Distribution includes Diaphana Distribution. Music includes Jonathan Morali as of recently is known for the Life is Strange soundtrack. Sound is from Regis Diebold, Mathieu Z’Graggen and Florent Lavallee. Editing includes Benjamin Massoubre with a voice cast including Christa Theret, Audrey Sable, Remi Caillebot, Thomas Sagols and Feodor Atkine. A release date for the movie has not yet been confirmed but we should be hearing great things from this film once it’s release date is revealed.

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Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

If you happen to be familiar with Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep television series produced by Aardman Animations than you are in luck for the newest British stop- motion animated comedy, Shaun the Sheep the movie. The film was written and directed by Richard Starzak and Mark Burton. The movie was distributed by StudioCanal and was released in the United Kingdom, February 6th, 2015. The movie was released by Lionsgate in the USA and by Universal Pictures in Latin America. The movies debut was  at Sundance in January 2015. The full running time is 85 minutes. With reviews being labeled as “baaadddd” from Cartoon Brew; the movie has only accumulated $65.3 million at the box office.

The plot of the movie consists of a sheep named Shaun who happens to live with his flock at Mossy Bottom Farm. Tired of the routine of life on the farm, he hatches a plan for a day off, by tricking the farmer into going back to sleep by counting the sheep over and over. However, the travel-trailer in which they put the farmer to bed accidentally rolls away, taking him all the way into the big city. Bitzer, the farmer’s dog, goes after him, ordering the sheep to stay on the farm. The voice cast includes Justin Fletcher as Shaun/Timmy John Sparkes as Bitzer/Farmer, Omid Djalili as Trumper,  Kate Harbour as Timmy’s mom/ Meryl and Nick Park as himself.

Production started in January 2011 but with a few setbacks the movie was suppose to be released 2013 or 2014. In April 2013, the movie was announced it would be distributed by StudioCanal and written by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak. Principal photography and production began January 30, 2014. The music of the film is composed by Ilan Eshkeri.  The soundtrack was released in the UK on June 1st. The soundtrack consist of 26 tracks with a total length of 54:45. The movie has a rating of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with 112 votes. Overall the movie has been given “okay” reviews calling the movie fluffy, smart and fun. There have already been discussions of a possible sequel for the movie.

Shaun 

When Marnie Was There, US Trailer


1. Story and background of When Marnie was there.
2. GKIDS and Studio Ghibli Article