4 items from 2016
Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was ThereSTORY70%ANIMATION80%DIRECTION65%POSITIVESGorgeous animation in all its aspectsInteresting story with social implicationsNEGATIVESLack of Miyazaki's aesthetics and general impact2016-02-1272%Overall ScoreReader Rating: (3 Votes)85%
The script is based on the homonymous novel by Joan G. Robinson and goes like this: Anna is a lonely and restless12-year-old who leaves in Sapporo with her adopted parents, Yoriko and her husband. After an asthma attack the girl suffers in school, her parents decide to send her to spend the summer in the country with some relatives of Yoriko’s, named Setsu and Kiyomasa, that live in the small seaside town of Kushiro, where she will not have to endure the city’s tainted atmosphere.
Both of her »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
Back in 2014, Sony Pictures Animation announced that their new Smurfs movie will be completely animated, ditching the live-action/CGI hybrid format the studio used in 2011's The Smurfs and 2013's The Smurfs 2. Sony has set a March 31, 2017 release date, with a voice cast that includes Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf, Demi Lovato as Smurfette and Rainn Wilson as the nefarious Gargamel. USA Today has the first photos from this animated adventure, now entitled Smurfs: The Lost Village, which gives us our first look at three previously-unannounced characters, Hefty Smurf (voiced by Joe Manganiello), Clumsy Smurf (voiced by Jack McBrayer) and Brainy Smurf (voiced by Danny Pudi).
Smurfs: The Lost Village, which was previously entitled Get Smurfy, follows Smurfette, as she sets off on a journey to find a fabled Smurf village before Gargamel does, bringing along her three brothers Hefty, Clumsy and Brainy. Director Kelly Asbury describes Hefty as »
Ever since master animator Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement from feature filmmaking in September 2013, the question hanging over Japanese animation has been: Who, if anyone, will step into his very large shoes?
This search for the “new Miyazaki” began long before the Oscar-winning auteur released his 2013 swan song, the WWII-themed “The Wind Rises.” Studio Ghibli, which was Miyazaki’s creative home for nearly three decades, has raised several putative successors, including Miyazaki’s son Goro, who directed “Tales From Earthsea” and “From Up on Poppy Hill,” and “The Secret World of Arrietty” helmer Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who made Ghibli’s last feature to date, this year’s Oscar-nominated “When Marnie Was There.”
But no animator working in the Japanese industry today has approached Miyazaki’s spectacular earnings for 2001 coming-of-age fantasy “Spirited Away.” Its $300 million domestic take reset the all-time record.
The shape of the post-Miyazaki animation landscape became clearer with the »
- Mark Schilling
Enchanting, startling; a rare story about a girl at a precarious age. Full of that exquisite Studio Ghibli sorcery that captures the beauty of the ordinary. I’m “biast” (pro): love Studio Ghibli’s films
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s another enchanting animated film from Studio Ghibli, but this one is really special. Less overtly fantastical than some of Ghibli’s other projects — though it’s still primarily a ghost story — When Marnie Was There is grounded in an adolescent reality that we almost never see onscreen: that girls have a rough time, too, in the transition from childhood to adulthood, and in finding a path through conflicting and confusing emotions to our own true identities.
The details of her pain are doled out slowly, over the course of her story, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
4 items from 2016
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