I've had the chance to see a couple of animated films in the last couple of weeks, which felt very much like a treat. I don't go to the cinema much. It seems that a lot of what's out there (or at least, what gets to the cinemas near me) just isn't very appealing, or blatantly looks like a piece of shit. Most of you would've seen these films months ago, but hey, I live in Australia and the minds of distributors are a mystery to me.
The Book of Kells
It was amazing to see a film with such a design aesthetic! I loved its visuals and animation style. They threw me a bit at first: so much layering and texturing, and I have been conditioned to a certain visual style. The story seem a bit thin, and there was a very careful avoidance of what the Book of Kells probably was. I thought we were building up to a big finish, and then the credits rolled which caught me off-guard, but I'm the first to admit that I have a very narrow experience with differing narrative styles.
Those interested in or working in the animation industry should see this film.
I'm not familiar with the book, so I couldn't say what's been changed or how that affected the overall story. I thought the design was fantastic and there was some amazing animation. In terms of the script, it felt as if the story lagged or paused in a couple of places. A couple of scenes I couldn't understand the reason for, but it didn't detract anything from the overall piece; just didn't ADD to it. At the start, I thought the character of Coraline was something of an irritating shit, but then, pre-teens/teens are like that. I know... I do recall being one. And for the life of me, I couldn't shake the niggling feeling of recognition when Wybie wasn't talking. It wasn't until after I realised: Angry Kid. I think it was the hair. When he wasn't speaking, it really was like a real life guy wearing a mask.
I saw this in 3D. A nice element, but nothing crucial. Another one to see and support. I'd be interested to see pre-production work on this.
Again, in 3D. I always look forward to Pixar films. The only one I ever felt blase about was Cars, and even then I couldn't deny the utter skill and talent in design and animation evident in the final product. People spoke of being moved in Wall-E, moved to tears. MEN moved to tears, and we all know that brings the end of the world closer (/sarcasm). Yes, it was moving, but I think it was just a warm up for me. I blubbed in the first 15 minutes of Up. Yes, I have a streak of sentimentality but I usually try to crush it down. The ability to move a person to tears (and I wasn't the only one) within the first 15 minutes of a film alone needs a goddamn Oscar! And not an Oscar for animation (though that would surely be deserved). I'm talking an Oscar for a fucking good film.
Too often I see films where I know where the story's going. Half the time I had no idea where we were headed and I don't take this as a detrimental thing. I was looking forward to seeing where it was going.
Design, animation, technical achievement, script, music, voices... A+. Everyone should see this film.
The only thing that made me glum was the fact there was something in it that is very similar to something in my own animated series idea. True, I came up with it 10 years ago, but that won't stop people from thinking I stole it off Pixar. Oh well. I'm sure there was someone who came up with the idea before me as well.