Studio Ponoc’s Modest Heroes is a collection of tales which shows how life must go on despite the obstacles that come what may. They are all heroes in their own unique way. This collection of animated shorts encompasses a wide range of genres, and it honours the precedent Studio Ghibli set in their films, and that’s to focus on vivid characterization.
Originally, this work would include four animated shorts, but the untimely passing of Isao Takahata did not dampen spirits. To make the theatrical experience a touch more worthwhile, a featurette with founder Yoshiaki Nishimura was included in most screenings, which discusses the design of each piece.
GKIDS and Shout! Factory will issue Modest Heroes on Blu-ray + DVD and digital download on June 18, 2019. The release, which features both Japanese and English audio tracks and comes complete with bonus features, is available for pre-order now on Shoutfactory.com.
From Studio Ponoc (Mary and The Witch’s Flower), the acclaimed new studio founded by twice-Academy Award®-nominated producer Yoshiaki Nishimura (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There), comes a thrilling collection of stories exploring ideas of heroism in their own unique way.
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.
2017 is upon us, and this year seems light in comparison to last year’s stellar line-up of animated movies and direct-to-video products to must-see. DreamWorks Animation (one of my favourite studios) had three titles, but sadly with The Croods 2 dropped, the remainder does not seem as exciting. Time will tell, however, until official trailers for The Boss Baby and Captain Underpants are released.
In the international front, Tad Jones: The Hero Returns might be fun, though this title ranks more in the honourable mention front. Also coming is Howard Lovecraft and the Underworld Kingdom. No official word has been made yet, but if Arcana Studios is sticking to schedule, we can expect this release in September.
In a holdover from last year’s releases in the film festival circuit, a few reports is suggesting The Red Turtle will get a wider distribution. This winner deserves to arrive at more shores, as it’s a powerful story about a man stranded on a deserted island, and how he connects with a particular turtle. Leading the pack of movies I must see is one that is making rounds at festivals:
(Please check local listings, Q2 wide release)
Director: Ann Marie Fleming
This colourful animation caught my attention when the National Film Board of Canada reported about its West Coast première at the Vancouver International Film Festival. If only it was playing the same or next day when I was in Vancouver, I could have gone to see it. Thankfully it will be getting a wider distribution in the new year.
When considering it is about a young poet of mixed descent going to Iran to learn about her past, I feel she will discover that the world is interconnected in more ways than she realizes. The unique character designs is also another selling point, and I’ll be anxious to see where the plot goes.