Tag Archives: Animated Short

Spotlighting National Film Board of Canada at the 2018 Victoria Film Festival

2 Feb

National Film Board of Canada

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Over the years, the many various works created by the talents at National Film Board of Canada has always managed to enthrall, entertain and impress. Many have won awards from many well-established shows like the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Even for an event like the Victoria Film Festival beginning this weekend, the offerings are a lot more this year to acknowledge the short film medium. They have six instead of the usual three specialized programs to spotlight the talent of many a filmmaker, be it local to international. The NFB have eight animated and documentary pieces being featured. In attendance will be Alanis Obomsawin and Hart Snider to present.

If this company’s works are being screened at a film festival near you, please do not hesitate to check them out. Eventually, they will all be offered online or through their streaming service.

Selections include:

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Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is not so Chilly & Hints at Sequel

26 Nov

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is the opening act before PIXAR’s Coco, and unless you are a fan of this character, this 20 minute computer animated adventure is almost worth skipping — at least to arrive late at the theater. I can certainly understand why audiences in Mexico disliked it; including it made no sense in a country preparing for Día de Muertos. While the themes certainly connect, Christmas is certainly not in everyone’s mind much less Thanksgiving, which is a American holiday this long weekend.

At the same time, not everyone are fans of Josh Gad. He gets center stage in this story about discovering what festive traditions exist on the day before yuletide and before the bell rings. Anna and Elsa invited their entire kingdom to come celebrate, but instead they politely decline because they have their own to take care off since it’s the eve. Olaf is sad these young ladies do not have their own and embarks on a look at what the people of Arendelle are doing. The list is straight out of Christmas, from candy canes to holiday logs — minus Krampus (he’s further south). A few laughs exist to get younger children smiling.

The new musical numbers are good. The best, of course, is saved for last. The bits of story are said to help bridge entry to the cinematic sequel. As Elsa is finally comfortable with her powers, just what can threaten this kingdom will have to be big. Perhaps there may be an invasion. After all, a few bridges were burnt in the fallout from the last film. Not all the neighboring kingdoms are certain to remain all that friendly.

Video

National Film Board of Canada Releases BAM for Toronto’s UNITY Festival

21 Jul

1-BAM_02_861360_300dpiBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The National Film Board of Canada has made BAM, an animated short, available for free public viewing. This piece made its premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Animated Short at the 4th Canadian Screen Awards. But not everyone can make it to this show, and with it now available online, I can see why it’s a modern take on the myth of Hercules. We are not necessarily talking about the twelve labours here, but instead, this film explores the psychological side of this unnamed animated character. This hard-boiled piece begins with a look at his life while at a subway. As reserved as he is in one moment, at another he suddenly goes postal for nearly no reason at all. The violence is hidden as a train roars by, and the fallout is at the core of this short where he silently questions everything about himself. Where does his rage come from?

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Video

PIXAR’s Animated Short, Piper, is a Huge Squeal of Delight!

18 Jun

PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

PIXAR’s original animated shorts is quite often more amazing than their feature-length films. While there are a few exceptions, namely with Toy Story, Wall*E and Up as my top three favourites, in what I’m watching attached to their movies is nothing short of marvellous. In my list of best films in this category has to be (in order): Piper, Blue Umbrella and Lifted. I admit to a slight bias towards the last item on this list, since I adore UFO stories that are not horror scenarios.

Piper is this studio’s latest entry and it’s nothing short of amazing. I do not think I can even watch this short on Blu-ray (1080p) resolution. It is very deserving of a 4K (2160p) treatment! I was amazed at witnessing every grain of sand rendered and the detail along every feather of the hero. Piper is most likely the name of the baby bird, a Sandpiper, learning how to hunt for food. Unfortunately, in his first attempt, he nearly got washed away by an ocean wave! His reaction was priceless and his ruffled look had the audience in stitches! This piece was screened along with Finding Dory, so the themes were very similar!

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