Tag Archives: Animation

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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Every Breath You Take with Funan, on Home Video Dec 3rd!

2 Dec

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date:
Dec 3rd, 2019

GKIDS & Shout! Factory

Funan is a deeply personal look into the life and times of Chou (voiced by Bérénice Bejo) when she faces more than a life separated from her family. Her story is based on writer/director Denis Do’s own experiences. It’s mostly about the stories his mother passed down. Her trials of wanting to reunite with her loved ones following the Cambodian uprising of the Khmer Rouge regime was difficult. This switch of power took place in April 1975 and lasted till 79.

Do hits a home run with the screenplay. The dialogue about how this new political party supposedly can do good seems brash. I see it as a conflict of one man’s ideals versus another’s in a matter of national pride. The English dub is reasonably well done, even though I switched to watching the French language version; translations can only go far and I wanted to see this work as it was originally intended. As I watched this heartbreaking movie, I can’t help but think the lyrics to The Police’s song, “Every Breath You Take” take on new meaning here. The story of love, loss and hope is every bit as powerful as the song because, quite literally, the new regime’s eyes are everywhere and ready to strike (for all the wrong reasons).

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2019 Vancouver International Film Festival Genre Picks!

25 Sep

Runs Sept 26 to Oct 11 at various venues throughout Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Hot off the heels of the 2019 Toronto Film Festival is the Vancouver International Film Festival for locals and Hollywood North to savour. It’s safe to say a good part of my previous article’s wish list (namely Jojo Rabbit and No 7. Cherry Lane) will screen at this show.

This year’s event has my attention because of the following and these movies are listed in no particular order:

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Top Scares from Fantasia’s Things That Go Bump in The East 2019 Shorts Program

23 Jul

Image result for fantasia film festival 2019Runs: July 11 – August 1st
Montreal, Quebec

By Ed Sum 
(The Vintage Tempest)

This year, Fantasia Festival‘s “Things That Go Bump In The East” Shorts Program offers an eclectic mix of animated works which I’m savoring like fine wine. This year featured eleven works and plenty are from the Tokyo University of the Arts. Some of these will no doubt screen at other film festivals. We can find a few online, like Shishigari (a wonderful tale of survival with elements of Mononoke Hime tossed in) and the others–they are worth seeking to get your scream on.

Various cinematic and illustration styles are used to deliver the goosebumps. In what makes these films unique is in how the animators push the envelope not only in how 2D Digital Animation can tell the story but also with how Asian filmmakers are defining an age old genre.

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