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31st
JAN

Animation coming to a DVD near you

Posted by GardenHead under MovieComment

In today’s cinema, slick computer graphics powered movies by Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks, populate the multiplex like a horde of 3-D modeled oompa loompas.

However, if the current horde of slick and fast animation is not your thing, this past year has offered up not one but two surprisingly successful hand made stop motion animation films that are as delightful as anything that was designed with a click of the mouse, (Insert your own bad Disney joke here).

Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride is a beautifully rendered tone poem to the stop motion art form. Just nominated for an Oscar for best animation feature; the film is a delightfully moody look at the afterlife. The vibrant colors and upbeat songs sung by the dead in the underworld makes you yean to stop making payments on your student loans and keel over and join in on all the dead fun!

Does the movie drag in a few places? Does a few of the Corpse Bride songs sound like remixes from Tim Burton’s Nightmare? Damn skippy on both counts. But this can be forgiven, because the movie is a stunner to look at, and the voice talent of Johnny Depp, Emily Watson, and Helena Bonham Carter all bring to life their characters with strong voice performances.

Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromitt shorts have long left fans yearning for a full length feature starring the cheese loving duo. So many current kiddie films feel the need to throw in the occasional blue joke to keep the soccer mom’s and dad’s awake.

Thankfully The Curse of the Were-Rabbit resists this weird and disturbing trend and still manages to turn out a cheeky and fun filled age appropiate experience. This film was also nominated in the Best Oscar field, and although Burton’s Bride is now out on DVD you must wait another week to pick up the Were Rabbit. Comparing the Were-Rabbit and Burton’s Bride is like comparing play-doh sculpted apples and oranges.

Burton’s film is a darker more moody and mature film, while Park’s Rabbit is a marvelous and fluffy bright spot of film making. Both films are worth picking up and addnig to your collection!

Now if clay ain’t yer thang, and you are a fan of the computer thing with puppets slapped in for good measure, Dave McKean, and Neal “Goth God” Gaiman’s MirrorMask is coming out on DVD on Fe. 14th. This is a great and jangly piece of film making! Mos def take a look at this one if you didn’t catch it in it’s limited release.

Reader's Comments

  1. Mark |

    If clay and CG aren’t your things; you should also check out ANYTHING put together by Studio Ghibli. Their last release, Howl’s Moving Castle, was most enjoyable.

  2. GardenHead |

    Thanks for the tip Mark! Yeah I dig Princess Monaoke, and Spirited away, among others that they put out, great stuff for sure!
    Thanks for checking out the column.

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