Tag Archives: Studio Ghibli

Wishing Everyone a … (from Baron Humbert von Gikkingen)

1 Jan


(Yes, one of us at otakunoculture.com is having a Studio Ghibli themed gathering over the weekend)


Swimming to the Mainland for Studio Ghibli’s The Red Turtle

19 Oct


By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

When I heard The Red Turtle, a collaborative work between Studio Ghibli, Wild Bunch (distributing) and Michaël Dudok de Wit, is making its rounds at special screenings, I knew I had to jump at the chance to see it as soon as it arrived in North America. Flying to Japan or Toronto was sadly out of the question due to budget, but as soon as I saw that it was playing at the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival, I wanted to hop a ride on a whale to the mainland as soon as my schedule allowed. In the Pacific Northwest, orcas are representative to the region and I do not think one would kindly take to riding her back to English Bay / Vancouver Harbour just for this film. The same might be said for this film’s protagonist when considering his first encounters with the reptile, and he got off lucky!

With this movie, I find Hayao Miyazaki never fails to astound his fans in the talents he recognizes as masters of their craft. After he stated, “All I did was announce that I would be retiring and not making any more features,” in a report by LA Times, he would still be influential in the future of the company he helped co-found. His son Gorō is involved in other co-productions with various studios and Isao Takahata helped with the artistic development of this Dutch animator / director feature-length film debut.

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In Conversation with Fantasy Author Christian A. Brown

27 Mar

online Christian Brown 3 - Dan Abramovici Photography

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Christian A. Brown is a fantasy author who understands how modern fiction works. Unless it evolves with the times, the work can look dated. To keep his own material refreshing, he’s not afraid to buck trends. His first novel, Feast of Fates, appeared on shelves in late 2014 and received a devoted legion of fans. The central character Morigan may well allude to the Morrigan of Irish Lore. Nestled in reference her importance in the tale is definitely the Three Fates. Brown calls them the Sisters Three — Eean, Elemech and Ealasyd — in his world, just what kind of ongoing role they play requires looking at the third book, Feast of Chaos, tentatively scheduled July release.

The fourth volume, Feast of Mercy, is in the works. This world Brown created is filled with an exploration into aboriginal culture and coloured with nods to mythological lore. Readers will find his exploration into gender equality interesting.

“One of the reasons why people have taken to my work is because you don’t see that a lot in fantasy especially, which is very trope-ridden,” said Brown.

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Remembering 2015: One Animation Fan’s Retrospective

1 Jan

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


PIXAR’s film is a strong contender come Oscar season!

The 2015 year was good for animation enthusiasts. Netflix‘s streaming service took off (and finally caught my notice) with help from DreamWorks — more of their properties appeared on this online only network even though I prefer to physically own a copy (i.e. purchase a video release down the road). Technically, Turbo FAST started the trend in 2013 and I’m glad to see that it exists for purchase at stores and on Amazon. All Hail King Julian! released late in 2014 but the rest of the programs like Dragons: Race to the Edge, Dawn of the Croods and Adventures of Puss in Boots shows that at least the studio has faith on the medium. Let’s hope these releases come to video too.

But what does that mean for other studios? Curiously, DreamWorks has not continued 2014’s Penguins of Madagascar movie. Has Nickelodeon said no to the studio making more or has Tom McGrath, the voice of Skipper, decided to move on? Currently, he’s working on Boss Baby, slated for release in 2017.

Disney/Pixar was busy with two releases, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, and while I favour the prehistoric adventure more than a look at what goes on inside a little girl’s head, I do see the former being a contender come Oscar season. I do have to wonder how long Minion-mania will last. It arrived in full force because of the movie and it showed no signs of slowing down over the holidays with merchandise being deeply discounted and the film put onto home video super early!

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