Not everyone will recall Hayao Miyazaki worked on various animated television shows before transitioning to making feature-length films. He provided key animation to films like Puss in Boots and Animal Treasure Island. Those haven’t received a Blu-ray upgrade yet, but with the release of Future Boy Conan, it’s safe to assume they will one day come. In the meantime, this product is a must to give to any collector of this filmmaker’s works. Christmas is coming.
GKIDS & Shout! Factory’s release of this whimsical post-apocalyptic style adventure can see how this first-time director whetted his feet as an up-and-coming director. Although he changed a lot of the story–it was supposed to be an adaptation ofThe Incredible Tide by Alexander Key–the problems that later arose meant that for a time, no North American release was possible despite having having an English dub stuck in storage for decades (it was redone for this release).
Usually wearing a twig or a leaf is not enough to protect a person from harm. But when you’re Tzod (Lucy Lawless, Xena: Warrior Princess), and you know this plant has mystical properties, I suppose it’s okay to wander the world mostly naked. Thankfully this animated movie inspired by Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi takes its cues elsewhere as it’s very ambitious in its scope, and is not scared of getting bloody that’d make Conan the Barbarian mutter, “Crom,” as wannabe kings and corrupt soldiers of fortune seek out The Bloom. With this plant, they can rule the world.
The Spine of Night bestows untold power and protection. Not everyone can lay claim to it, and nor can just anyone wear it as a badge of honour than emblem of power. Tzod is trying to protect it, and is laying as low so nobody can track her. Perhaps that’s why we see her in some strange outback, climbing up hills and poking her head in places faraway from humanity until she can find shelter. However, there’s another resident in the cave she found. The Guardian (Richard E. Grant, Withnail & I), is inquisitive, and asks why she’s here. Tzod explains, and that’s where the real stories unfold.
The 70s is alive and well in Batman: Soul of the Dragon. This animated film is an original tale and thankfully, it doesn’t take any notes from the campy and beloved 60s television show. Instead, its influence is straight out of many James Bond and Bruce Lee films. This aspect is enjoyable to see. Even rarer to see is Wayne not as the feared hero with a cape. He’s got the skills but not the experience in this outing!