Winnie the Pooh/ dir. Stephen Anderson & Don Hall/ 2011
On the second to last day of the Seattle International Film Festival, I sit in a theater awaiting the North American premiere of Winnie the Pooh. To my left, my partner of about a year and all around me I am surrounded by an almost full theater of smiling parents, anxious kids, and general fans of animation (well at least the folks that can make it to an early morning showing on a Saturday). After the parade of speakers and thank yous, the lights go dim, and Winnie the Pooh comes on. Amidst the occasional laughs from the small children around me, my eyes are affixed on the screen, hanging on each beautifully animated frame while I reminisce of the days when I first met the round lovable bear known as Winnie the Pooh. Days after I’m still collecting my thoughts, reflecting on all the changes that have occurred in and around me in not only the 5 months since I last wrote, but also the 2 years since I took my first baby steps into the animation world. All this brought about by a mere children’s movie. So after a very lengthy hiatus, I figured I should write something…
Winnie the Pooh is not your traditional “modern” animated feature. It’s doesn’t offer any flashy effects or well planned out action sequences. There is no magic, no plot twists and no added adult humor or pop culture references to entice the older audiences. No, Winnie the Pooh is an old fashioned Disney 2D/ hand drawn animated film through and through. It knows its core audience and it’s an effective film for 3 reasons: simple storytelling, a subtle yet powerful moral message, and a creative imagination. All these add up to something that gets lost in today’s films of CG, big action sequences, grand sets, and manufactured emotions… Innocence. Continue reading
It’s Valentine’s Day! A holiday mostly tailored towards the card making companies. However, the overall sentiment is appreciated, “celebrate love.” So for today’s inspiration, I bring you an animated piece that has already made its rounds on the internet, but the animation and emotion is still as powerful as ever:
Thought of You/ Ryan Woodward/ 2010
For “making of ” video, hit the jump:
Well the Super Bowl has came and went. Congrats to the Green Bay Packers on their win! I would hate to be that dude from Seattle who is bitter towards Pittsburgh for a loss 5 years ago, but let’s face it, I’m little bitter! So I’m glad that Green Bay won. Anyway, the highlight for most people is not the game itself, but the commercials that companies spend millions upon millions of dollars on. And for this year’s crop of commercials, it was… meh.
I did notice however, that many of the commercials had some sort of animation to it. From CG Black Eyed Peas, to bugs in the forest, animation is pretty much everywhere. Here were my top 3 favorite animated Super Bowl XLV commercials:
Brisk Iced Tea
Yes many of us have been done since either last summer or this past fall, but the ceremony, show, and pomp & circumstance all happened this past weekend. For an online school like Animation Mentor, these events are even more thrilling, as we finally get to meet-up with all those folks we’ve seen only through the eyes of a lowly webcam. It amazes me, that even though we’ve never met in “real” life, I can start up a conversation with them like I had known them for years.
The events of this past weekend are a definite high, but the real question comes after. Like coming back from a conference, or an expo, the quintessential thing we must ask of ourselves after all this is… Now What?
There are some graduates out there that already have found themselves a job, and for them they have answered their “Now What?” I’m proud of them, but I’m also proud of everyone else that graduated that will either now or later attempt to do something that not many people ever accomplish… Realize a dream.
For me, I’m not going to stand still through this high. I’m going to go back to where my inspiration lies:
It’s time to give this piece an animated facelift that I have always envisioned it to have. After about 2 years, I think I owe it to all those organizations that fight for social justice, especially those I organize with, to do something positive for the people. And hey, if I get a job in the industry at the same time, even better.
I know my fellow AM graduates have other shots they’re working on as well, and the main thing, like I’ve always stated each in week in my videos to them, is to keep inspired and most of all, HAVE FUN!
Yes for some it’s a struggle, but that’s why we’re here. Yes we observe life in order to create the illusion of it, but at the same time by animating life, we can change it as well.
If you want to know who we are, WE ARE REVOLUTION!
Congrats once again AM Graduates!
Inspiration for animation can be from anywhere and my favorite places for inspiration are inside the squared circle of professional wrestling. Based on the last shot of my demo reel, I’m a big fan of old school wrestling. Today I’m going to relate the animation principal of “appeal” to these classic vignettes of the ol WWF-days…
Hit the jump for some more analysis of the GENIUS of this PERFECT Appeal…
Time for a midweek animated piece to get you through your week. This week, Disney’s Fantasia 2000′s “Rhapsody in Blue.” One of my favorite pieces, musically and animation wise, from that movie. Enjoy!
Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone/ Hideaki Anno/ 2007/ Japan
Evangelion 1.11 is a special DVD/ Blu Ray edition of Evangelion 1.0, which in turn was a reboot of the classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Confused? Well that’s the point. Anime is sometimes known for its convoluted stories, intricate plot twists, and techno-babble dialogue, and the poster child of this generalization was the original 1996 Neon Genesis Evangelion Series. Evangelion 1.11 is the reboot… err… well, its more of a facelift, as it seems the scenes were ripped straight out of the original series. Is it any good? If you like the OG series, you’ll like this film. If you’re looking for a fantastic in-depth, artistic, and stylistic look into the fragile psyche of a teenager abandoned by his father then this is the film for you. If you also like big mech robots fighting huge monsters, then this film is for you. Be warned, you may get lost in its confusing plot and its many allusions to religion. But if you give it a chance, you’re in for a treat.
Let’s put a bow on 2010 and wrap it with Art of the Cartoon’s Best Animated Features of 2010. I’ll be honest, 2010 was an an okay year in animated features, not great, just okay. I enjoyed 2009’s offering of animated goodness better than 2010, but still I have to commend all the animation studios for putting out some quality work in 2010 (by the way studios, I’m looking for a job as an animator *wink wink*). I only have a top 3 this year, so let’s go over some ground rules first:
- I have to have seen the movie! (Yes I’m looking forward to seeing Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, too bad it wasn’t released stateside in 2010, so I haven’t seen it. So it is OUT! )
- If the animated movie was widely released in 2010, it counts!
- I (obviously) have to have enjoyed the movie. Technical merit counts (animation, sound, etc…) but its the sum of all parts, so if I’m not entertained for the duration, then you’re not making the list.
Let’s do it! Hit the jump for the Best Animated Features 2010…