Tag Archives: Stop-Motion Animation

All That Matters is That Even Mice Belong in Heaven

13 Dec

How to Watch Even Mice Belong in Heaven (2021) Streaming Online – The  StreamableBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on
Amazon Prime Video

Google Play
Vudu

It’s tough to say if the Czech made Even Mice Belong In Heaven will hit a chord with audiences world-wide, but there’s a simplistic charm to like in this work directed by directors Jan Bubenicek and Denisa Grimmová.

Part of it is due to the artistry put into this stop motion work. The concept design is not too sophisticated, and the presentation recalls the style from those Rankin/Bass classics. It’s also just as comparable to Fantastic Mr. Fox.  I like to think it’s a different take on All Dogs go to Heaven but thematically, the scare about whether a pecking order matters in the world “Of Mice and Men.” That idea is furthered in Zootopia.

This film follows Whizzy (Simona Berman), a mouse who is too brave for her own good. After ripping off a bit of fur from Whitebelly (Graham Halstead), a sleeping fox, she thinks she’s as brave as her pops. But her bravado is short-lived. Whitebelly awakens and chases the rodent to a road with a quickly approaching vehicle coming towards them both.

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From TIFF to OIAF to ImagineNATIVE w TheNFB’s The Hidden Island of Ethics

16 Sep

Meneath: The Hidden Island of EthicsBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Official Selection at
Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 9-18)
Ottawa International Animation Festival (Sept 22-Oct 3)
imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (Oct 19-24)

Please check links for showtimes

Anyone who has followed the media reports about the discovery of a mass grave on the grounds of a residential school in Kamloops, BC, may find Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics disturbing. Children from local tribes were plucked away from their families because someone thought it was best to teach them a different way of life. These places were operated by the Catholic Church, and it didn’t change hands until much later. The Canadian Government never knew what went on, and was left holding the bag.

This stop motion animated work by Terril Calder is evocative, powerful and moving. The story she constructed is an eerie look at what may have happened back then. Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in this tale.

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[Fantasia 2021] Who’s the Master with Dreams & Monsters? Mad Gods?

19 Aug

Mad God (2021) - IMDbFantasia Film Festival 2021
Available to Stream on Aug 22 & 24
Tickets purchases available here.

Mad Dreams & Monsters is available in The Monster Collection (Amazon USA Link)

Anyone who saw Phil Tippett: Mad Dreams and Monsters before going to see Mad God at Fantasia Film Festival is ahead of the game when getting to know how this film came to be. No prior knowledge is necessary, but this documentary by Gilles Penso and Alexandre Ponce will help. It’s a love letter to the man, and every film he made movie magic in. It includes his contributions to television (The Pillsbury Dough Boy) too. 

The transition to filmmaking took place when he met Dennis Muren who was looking for talents to staff Industrial Light & Magic. He is the creative mind behind realizing Dejarik, a weird chess-like game that Chewie and R2D2 played in episode IV and since then, his cinematic legacy was set in stone. The fact he had to recreate it for the new trilogy meant looking for those original molds and casts. 

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Love Studio Laika? Details on the Studios Edition Rerelease for Fall/Winter 2021!

2 Jun

Studio Laika – Molding Life into Stop-Motion AnimationFans of Studio Laika’s movies will be facing a tough decision, whether to upgrade their current sets for the latest, which includes some new material for the budding animator to view.

Four films will receive new high-definition releases this fall when Coraline (LAIKA Studios Edition) and The Boxtrolls (LAIKA Studios Edition) are released on August 31, and ParaNorman (LAIKA Studios Edition) and Kubo and the Two Strings (LAIKA Studios Edition) are released on September 14 by lauded animation studio LAIKA and multi-platform entertainment distributor Shout! Factory.

The Blu-ray™+DVD combos are loaded with exciting new special features, including “Inside LAIKA interviews with the studio’s animation team”, Never-Before-Seen Animation Test Footage, and Feature-Length Storyboards for each of the films. All four films were nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Animated Film.

Along with digitally remastered editions of the films, new and existing bonus features, and new, collectible packaging, the LAIKA Studios Editions feature insightful, commemorative new essays by esteemed journalists Peter Debruge (Variety), Ramin Zahed (Animation Magazine), Bill Desowitz (Indiewire) and Charles Solomon (author and former Los Angeles Times critic).

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TheNFB at VFF2021 Part Two: Analyzing I, Barnabé

21 Jan

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By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

National Film Board of Canada
Victoria Film Festival: Animate Me Shorts Program beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Spoiler Alert 

Click here to buy tickets (disclaimer: region locked to BC residents)

Barnabé is a pastor having a crisis of faith. He can’t take it anymore in this ethereal animated short by Jean-François Lévesque.

This character wants to end his life. To see him taking to alcohol to numb his senses is only a start to a wild and woolly ride of his past, his present and what may come in a Dickenson type of tale. The gothic tropes are nicely used to showcase his deterioration, but it’s his journey which takes on a different tone.

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