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Top Animated Features to Look Forward to in 2020

22 Jan

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The 2020 season of animated features is big, and we’re going to see the return of Gru! With streaming video platforms now the norm, distribution is not limited to what’s playing on the big screen. In what I offer is a list of coming works that I’m personally very excited for.

Not a lot of anime is mentioned in this list save for one. They are a unique world onto itself and deserves its own list.

Las Leyendas: El Origen
April 17

Anyone who has watched Netflix’s Legend Quest will be in for a treat! The Hispanic horror-comedy directed Ricardo Arnaiz and produced by Mexican animation studio, Ánima Estudios has gained a loving reputation. It shares the same DNA as Gravity Falls and the character designs are not too different. Instead of a brother and sister team, the tale focuses on a boy who can talk to dead people.

Leo San Juan is your take-charge kind of personality. His companions include a ghost girl, Teodora; a loony old knight, Don Andrés, the mythical dragon (if he can be called that), Alebrije; and two calaveras (skeleton kids), Finado and Moribunda. This film is the origin story about them.

They have to help a human infant who looks trapped in the afterlife. Whether this baby walked through the Espejo Eternal (“eternal mirror”)–a portal that separates the Realm of the Living and the Dead—by accident or not, the details are uncertain. Finando and Moribunda has to protect the tyke from what may be the Mexican version of Charon. As a side-story, I can’t help but be excited for what two skeleton kids can do to keep this franchise ongoing.

Scoob!
May 15

Yes, I’m a sucker for a good Scooby Doo mystery. In this reboot, we see how a pup without a name get named and how he met Shaggy Rogers. Soon, the rest of the gang are reintroduced in modern fashion. It’s weird to not see Fred sporting his trademark ascot, but with a franchise that’s 50 years old, modernizing it is a must. Even Daphne and Velma get an update to their dated look.

As for whether or not this film is a step in the right direction for keeping interest alive, I’ll take a look. This film brings a handful of classic Hanna-Barbera characters into the fold in a not all to surprising shared universe concept. As long as Captain Caveman and Blue Falcon is done right, it’s all good.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
May 22

With this third film, the huge selling point is to see when Spongebob met Gary, his pet snail.

There’s more to their relationship which holds them together. When the gastropod gets snail napped by the sea god Poseidon, my biggest question is why? Does the mewing mollusc possess something the god need? Or is Gary a snail on a mission from god?

The shenanigans will no doubt be crazy, but as long as we get a good story instead of a lengthy sitcom, I’m curious in where this film will go and hope I won’t need earplugs in the end.

Soul
June 19

Joe Gardner is the Soul Man. Well, not quite yet. He’s dreamed of making it big, but is instead a middle school music teacher. When an accident robs him of this life, hopefully his afterlife will be better (or not).

He has to help others who are not as hopeful if he’s to earn his wings. When his heaven (or is that purgatory?) is “You Seminar,” the concept seems scarier than sitting in on a long motivational Ted Falk.

When PIXAR is behind this work, the story will be inspirational. The Jazz soundtrack will no doubt be the driving force behind this work.

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Evangelion: 3.0+1.0
June 27

After 13 long years, the complete Rebuild of Evangelion is finally here! I’ve been holding off watching these set of films (well, except the first).

When Hidiki Anno took time off to make Shin Godzilla. I’m not complaining. He’s a master of his craft, and I feel he can do not wrong. With this final release, I can plan for a weekend of seeing all the films together and try not to cry.

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Weathering with You Debuting in North America Today!

16 Jan

Fan Preview Screenings (full movie with exclusive Makoto Shinkai video) tonight and tomorrow.

Opens in theaters on January 17 (North America). In Canada please check Cineplex online for participating theatres.

Coming to North America today is the highly-anticipated new film from director Makoto Shinkai and producer Genki Kawamura, the creative team behind the critically-acclaimed, global smash hit Your Name.

The Weathering with You is too apt for a charged tale of life, love, and controlling the weather. The timing could not be any better as parts of Canada and the East coast being hit with snow. High winds and other dangers notwithstanding, for those able to make it, this film is worth getting out to! Thankfully it will stay in theaters longer as the wild and woolly weather can dissipate in a few hours.

Synopsis:

The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky…

A Cold, Terrible World is Hidden at the Mountains of Madness Vol 2 & What’s Next?

10 Jan
mountains of madness manga

Buy volume one and two
on Amazon USA.

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Gou Tanabe‘s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness certainly delivers winter chills and shows this seemingly unadaptable work of HP Lovecraft can be tweaked for any cross media presentation. All it needs is some kind of resolution instead of a terrible revelation at the end.

Anyone who knows the original story will recall Danforth losing his sanity after seeing a Great Old One rise from the destruction. In what’s key to making that moment work is will this artist attempt to draw this cosmic entity? I won’t spoil what he sees. Instead, I can certainly say the city the Elder Things built may be gone for now, but I feel it also exists in an alternate dimension where Clive Barker’s most hailed creation (the Cenobites) lives!

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Millennium Actress and her Wonderful Life is Coming to Home Video this Week!

8 Dec

Release Date:
December 10, 2019

Some viewers of anime will most likely think Que Sera Cera when looking back at those fond memories offered in Satoshi Kon’s seminal classic Millennium Actress (千年女優). The upcoming home video release this week is perfect for the Holiday season; watching this film is much like catching It’s A Wonderful Life. Both works are classics for a reason.

The anime was the Grand Prize winner in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival back when it first released in 2002. It also took home the Ofuji Noburo Award at the 2002 Mainichi Film Awards, and honoured with the Orient Express Award at the 2001 Festival de Cine de Sitges.

This rerelease is a remastered which saw limited theatrical release over the summer. For the winter, it will live again.

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