Tag Archives: Cartoon Saloon

[TIFF2020] Walk, Don’t Run for Wolfwalkers Debut!

12 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Toronto International
Film Festival 2020

North American Debut

GKIDS

MILD SPOILER ALERT

Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers is a sweetly engaging animated tale about the winds of change not only within the Goodfellowe family but also with Ireland as a whole. No, we’re not necessarily talking about revolution, but instead in how to let the past be what it must, and see little sparrows grow.

Robyn’s (Honor Kneafsey) coming of age tale is key to this heroine’s journey into adulthood. Bill (Sean Bean) can’t bear to see her grow up. He promised (the wife is presumably deceased) to keep this wee darling daughter safe, but she’s ready to kill wolves like her father. He’s been hired by the puritanical Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell to hunt down the wolves of Kilkenny. This film is historically correct when they are considered a threat to business (mostly the loss of sheep) but there are other ways to handle a dire situation..

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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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10 Most Anticipated Animated Films for 2018

30 Dec

By Ed Sum
The Vintage Tempest

Plenty of animated films will be coming in 2018 for the discerning connoisseur to consider. Disney and PIXAR do not dominate the market, and to offer enough international flavour is what makes this list different from others. While a strong anime theme persists, offered here are my picks for the 2018 year. Not every film have a set date; they are confirmed to come out within the year at least.

This list is organized into the most highly anticipated to “least.”

Godzilla: Monster Planet

Anyone living in Japan saw this movie already and the word is that this film is very good. The expectations from fans living elsewhere are high since this work is coming from the studio who birthed Gojira, and the look is epic.

Humanity had to flee the planet in order to survive this beast’s wrath, and now they want it back. Hopefully the advancements in technology can placate the behemoth! No date is given for the global Netflix release. Perhaps this movie will get a limited cinema screening first, where this film deserves to be seen, before heading to the streaming service.

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[Victoria Film Festival ’15] Examining the Folklore behind Song of the Sea

15 Jan

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

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11am Feb 9
The Vic Theatre
Victoria, BC

3pm Feb 14
Star Cinema
Sidney, BC

With only a trailer to go by, this animation by the production house Cartoon Saloon, who produced Secret of Kells, will go far. It’s a guaranteed winner for its cultural aesthetic and expansion of a traditional mythic tradition about the Selkie, supernatural creatures found in Irish and Scottish folklore. They can transform from seal to human and vice versa. These beings are well-known to those living in the Orkney Islands, and their proliferation into Celtic popular culture can be found in many a piece of literature or found featured in a play.

On an island located west of Canada, there’s some Scottish tradition to be found. Some audiences may have been introduced to the lore about the Selkie during last year’s Victoria Fringe Festival by Voice Box Theatre Company’s low-budget Cirque du Soleil style performance, “Selkie Tales.” To have a follow-up of sorts as part of this year’s Victoria Film Festival’s Family Day Program is a blessing of the faeries.

To understand what these supernatural sea-faring folk are about means delving into what little documentation there is. In the surviving folklore, there is no agreement as to how often the selkie-folk were able to carry out the transformation. Some tales say it was once a year, usually Midsummer’s Eve, while others state it could be “every ninth night” or “every seventh stream.” (1)

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