Tag Archives: Drama

Regarding Alain Bidard’s Opal. She’s More Than A Kind of Magic and is The Best Movie (so far) of Fantasia 2022!

25 Jul

Opal Movie Poster

Long time devotees of Alain Bidard‘s works will love his latest movie, Opal. Most of this filmmaker’s catalogue of works played at Fantasia, and his last film was Battledream Chronicle. This movie is his second feature and his past works are often complex fairy tales. This film looks at why a young princess (Dawn-Lissa Mystille) named after a crystal is special.

Not only is she a wonderful, sparkling personality, but also brings joy. If she’s happy, the kingdom prospers. But when she’s sad, the opposite rings true. Whether she’s like the Well of Souls is not up for debate. Instead, what she radiates is magical, since the realm feeds off that. Because she’s key to the nation’s prosperity, should she go missing, plants will die and people will suffer. What we soon learn is that she’s living in a prison without walls. She’s allowed to roam the palace, but can’t go out.

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The Fantasy and Where to Find Summer Ghost After Fantasia 2022

25 Jul

Summer Ghost

GKIDS

Summer Ghost is a sweet short movie by Loundraw about three teenagers who want to meet a ghost. Instead of fashioning a scary story, his tale is more about dealing with life. The story he wrote and the film he directed is very thoughtful. Difficult challenges are facing the girl and two boys–Aoi (Miyuri Shimabukuro, Miyuri), Tomoya (Chiaki Kobayashi), and Ryou (Nobunaga Shimazaki)–and none of them know what to do with their lives. 

Because they barely know each other, having just met on social media, to help each other out seems out of the question. In fact, they think communicating with the dead can lead to better results. While their idea of seeking guidance from the other side seems unusual, that’s because one of them has terminal cancer.

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Dealing with My Grandfather’s Demons Isn’t Tough at Fantasia 2022

25 Jul

My Grandfather's DemonsGKIDS

Rosa (Victória Guerra) is struggling with life in My Grandfather’s Demons. She’s in a dead-end job in a company where they reward productivity with a golden digital mascot type award–but that’s not enough for her. Because of this, she’s great at what she does, one day, she freaks out. Nobody knew that her grandfather (António Durães) died, and pretty soon, she was asked to take a holiday.

In what makes this film unique is in how two different animation styles are used to represent the realities that Rosa lives in. I sense this woman’s been feeling very disconnected from the world because her grandfather died. For example, the introduction of her life in a big city is rendered in CGI, whereas the countryside is made with clay and animated in stop motion. The latter may well stand for how Rosa needs to return to her roots. She needs to reground herself.

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Marcel the Shell, Only The Lonely

13 Jul

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Coming to theatres beginning July 15, 2022

Marcel the Shell is lonely, and as for where his family went, nobody knows. They were taken away when the last human occupants of their home parted ways. It was by accident, and he doesn’t hold ill will, but not even Dean, his new human friend, can help. When this man discovers this strange Fraggle Rock world after he moves in that abode, his reaction is to be kind and film his life as he takes each day as it comes.

Jenny Slate is marvellous as the voice of this chitin. I found her voice brings a sense of wonder and innocence not too different from how other children go wow when discovering the world.

As for whether a slug exists inside the shell, I’m fairly sure there’s nothing. He’s as alive as those black soots from My Neighbour Totoro and I liken him to a fairy. Plus, I’m willing to say that this stop-motion and live action film by Dean Fleischer-Camp (who also co-stars) owes a small debt to this Studio Ghibli film. He found a home that’s very rustic.

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The Boss Baby is Back in the Crib, or Should That Be All Caged Up?

30 May

Streaming on NetflixThe Boss Baby Back in the Crib
Dreamworks Animation

The Boss Baby has problems, and the only way to survive the FBI investigation is to go Back in the Crib. Fans of this DreamWorks franchise are in for a treat as the entire Templeton family agrees to keep Ted (now voiced by John Paul Karliak) safe. He was living the life as a business tycoon. However, after finding his employees have been embezzling and framed him, he has nothing left.

This story arc doesn’t come into play throughout the twelve episode run and that’s very unusual. You’d think Ted would try to clear his name. Instead, he goes into hiding.

In contrast, the subplot about The Uncuddleables, a babysitter group who knows of Baby Corps, takes centre stage. They’re out to seize control. To see Ted deal with Baby Tina (Mary Faber nicely emulates Amy Sedaris‘ accent), who has taken over his role in the company, is the least of his worries. As a result, the hi-jinks are hilarious. Unless he and his niece get along, what’s going to happen next leads to more trouble that this institution can’t handle.

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