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Theories on the Muppets, Puppets and Pooh-Bear & Beyond

10 Aug

Image result for winnie the pooh 2018 christopher robinBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After watching Disney’s Christopher Robin, I could not help but wonder what’s next for CGI, and where can the use of puppetry shine in movie-making. There were times in this film where I believe puppets were used instead of CGI. Parts of the film required Ewan McGregor to have an on set puppet instead of a motion capture performer. Technology can offer wonderful things when it’s advanced enough. I would cuddle an animatronic doll of Winnie, Tigger or Eeyore.

They can be classified as a muppet. Purists will disagree. Folklorists like me see can only imagine the possibility. This film offers a possibility of these “puppets” of being real and interacting with the world. Reactions will be mixed because not everyone is aware of them. When considering the parent company now owns Jim Henson’s creations in addition to having some rights on A.A. Milne’s seminal bear, could a crossover or further expansion of the mythology happen? The idea of putting these creations into our reality has been experimented with.

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Finding a Touch of Shakespeare in Disney’s Christopher Robin

8 Aug

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

After seeing Disney’s Christopher Robin, I have to buy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh to watch all over again. Part of my youth was spent fondly seeing these cinematic classics of the Silver and Bronze Age. In the live action front, it will forever be TRON. In the animated world, it’s a tie between three works: Winnie the Pooh, The Great Mouse Detective and The Sword in the Stone. The themes behind all these works are nearly the same, and it defines why I enjoy Gargoyles. I followed a significant portion of Disney Afternoon’s programming even as I was older, and the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh always brought out the child in me. This series did not share the same gravitas as the films, but I still had to watch it. It was food for the brain as I did my homework.

Part of the appeal of this newest entry is the nostalgia invoked. The introduction is also very sentimental. Good ol’ Pooh Bear is given an update. They are stuffed dolls than actual animals and I am sure a massive merchandising revamp is coming. With this franchise completely reimagined, I am wanting to play with them much like Robin once did. Funko POP beware, you now have a worthy challenger to the button-eyed empire. I find these new imaginings just as appealing as the Disney which introduced me to them.

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Gertrude Chandler Warner’s Boxcar Children Gets Animated on Aug 7th!

6 Aug
Bluray of Boxcar Children

Available for pre-order on Amazon

Small island. Big adventure! The release of the new animated feature film, The Boxcar Children, Surprise Island, is coming August 7th. This direct to home video title comes courtesy Legacy Classics and Shout Kids.

This adaption of the popular children’s book of the same name, stars Golden Globe®-winning actor Martin Sheen (The West Wing) as James Alden, Oscar®-winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Dr. Moore, Dane DeHaan (Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets) as the mysterious Joe, Joey King (Independence Day: Resurgence) as Jesse Alden, Carter Sand (Frozen) as Benny Alden, Gil Birmingham (Twilight) as Lonan Browning, Griffin Gluck (Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life) as Henry Alden, Stephen Stanton (Star Wars Rebels) as Capt. Daniel and Talitha Bateman (Love, Simon) as Violet.

This work sees these lads spending their entire summer living on their Grandfather’s small, nearly uninhabited island. There they meet Joe, who is friendly and helpful, and inexplicably living on their island. Does their new friend have a secret?

Directed by Dan Chuba and Mark Dippé, this film is the first of three new animated features to be adapted from the “The Boxcar Children” book series. For those who have not yet heard of them, the books by Gertrude Chandler Warner can be found at most bookstores.  The collected volumes 1-4 are available as a single package on Amazon and is one of the best-selling children’s book series of all time and has recently marked its 75th anniversary, over 70 million books have sold world-wide. There are 150 books in the series, and over 1 million kids read the books in schools across North America every year.

How’s Gone is Netflix’s Extinction? A Movie Review

4 Aug


By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

One part thriller and two-parts apocalypse, Extinction is a film on Netflix trying to make Michael Peña an action star. He’s not Die Hard material (yet). He’s better known for his comedy and when in his element, he certainly shines. Put him in roles where he’s a second banana like Ant-Man, not so much. His diversity as the lead star just needs the right director to help bring out. Filmmaker Ben Young comes close in this futuristic work about a man just wanting a simple life.

In this film, he’s an engineer by day and troubled soul at night. His family is worried after hearing about his dreams. They seemingly foreshadow an alien invasion. Peter is confused more often than not, (which is perfect for Pēna to play up) but for saving his family in these prolonged “dream sequences,” he’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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