Tag Archives: animation

CW Seed Posts some new Vixen Videos

Premiering August 25 on the CW Seed, Vixen got two new videos posting giving us a bit more info on this animated series based on the DC Comics character that also ties into the live action Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

Series Premiere Featurette

Inside Vixen, Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim previews the series.

Review: Inside Out

inside-out_bannerThe list of movies which has churned out from Disney and Pixar‘s animated collaboration need no introduction! Who has not seen their 1st film Toy Story (1995) or its subsequent equally good (or arguably better) follow ups? Just like its previous releases, this film’s release has been hyped up beyond reason (mainly due to its tough competition with box office mammoth Jurassic World), probably that is the only reason I actually got interested in watching this film. Even the great Pixar seems to be underwhelming audiences after Cars 2 (2011), Brave (2012) and Monsters University (2013) failed to please. Luckily, it seems their low times are left far behind, as with their 15th animated film in their 20 years of history comes this enjoyable feel good film that deals with emotions.

While some reviews have gone as far as calling this their best yet, well I wouldn’t go that far, as in my opinion, it sure is great, but is still behind films like Toy Story 3 (2010), Up (2009), WALL-E (2008) and The Incredibles (2004). Nevertheless this film is possibly their most original and interesting concept yet. Not only does it have beautiful animation, but it also has a fascinating story. It focuses on the human brain and our emotions which is a very complicated subject, but the movie makes it so bright and easy to understand that even little kids could get it! Director Pete Doctor (Up, Monsters Inc) has taken the concept of  people inside a body controlling things and added a fun, new brilliant creative spin on it that is just too wonderful for words. The story follows the life of Riley Anderson (voiced by Kaitln Dias) and the emotions inside her head. We see how inside baby Riley’s head, a glowing figure emerges in yellow dress and blue hair. The person presses a button to which the baby smiles, thus creating her first emotion – Joy. Years later, we see Riley Anderson growing up and doing what most girls do, play, laugh, hang out with friends, have some family time and Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler) watches it all and loves it. There have also been more emotions that joined “headquarters” in that time, a timid blue girl in a turtleneck named Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith) who deals with Riley’s problems the easy way, a red brick man named Anger (voiced by Lewis Black) who helps her to achieve things even if it be through forced, Disgust (voiced by Mindy Kaling) a cute girl clad in green who helps Riley to refuse foods such as broccoli or picking the wrong outfit for school and a thin purple man with large worried eyes named Fear (voiced by Bill Hader) who stops Riley from hurting herself or getting into danger.

InsideOut1Together the emotions work together, even if they don’t all get along to keep their girl happy and healthy. Until of course she reaches eleven and the trouble starts after the family move from Minnesota to San Francisco and new problems arise. The film’s animation is just-Spectacular. There’s really nothing else to call it. They show memories in the form of multi colored orbs each a color for a different emotion, e.g. Joy yellow, Anger red. There is a scene in which Joy and Sadness wander through Long Term Memory which is just an endless twisting row of shelves full of different colored memories. Someone got to animate that, draw, paint and render every single frame. Some of the most funniest moments of the film come when we get to see how her mind worked with limited emotion. The cleverness came from the simplest things such as how a certain advertisement can get stuck in your head for days or how you forget a certain memory, but again i feel i have to keep these aspects brief. Everyone will at least relate to one character or situation. Admit it, we all have a friend like Bill Hader‘s Fear.

It makes me wonder how our minds actually do work. Emotions just seemed to get way more interesting. Its like the questions Toy Story put in our heads, but as weird as it sounds they seem more real here. The most powerful scene in the movie is in Memory Dump. Joy and Bing Bong have fallen in. Joy sits in a pile of fading stones, picks up the memories she can still see and begins to weep. “Do you remember when she used to stick her tongue out when she was coloring? I could listen to her stories all day.” She realized what it is like to be sad and breaks down from the years of her being patronizing to Sadness who she sees no use for. Joy remembers Bing Bong’s rocket was thrown into the dump and they use it to escape. Unfortunately, Bing Bong is fading. Joy is an emotion- she cannot be forgotten. He however fades away after jumping off the rocket. “Take her to the moon for me…okay?” I was sobbing in my seat. I thought Dory’s Monologue was sad and the beginning of Up and Jessie’s abandonment but you made me cry over an elephant cat hybrid who’s imaginary! I’m shocked by the reviews stating the film too sad or too dark & something about not relating to little kids. Well, actually maybe it’s not for little kids, it’s aimed at older children, perhaps even those around Riley’s age in the film. It’s far too complex for a three year old. An eight year old would probably be able to understand it, but I would put this film at a 10+ to be honest. It’s just so smart. I enjoyed this, and let me just say, your own emotions will be running around headquarters going haywire after watching it.

The story/plot is the real standout of this movie. It is a brilliant realization of how our emotions work inside our brains. This is a very complex subject, one that scientists have been working on for many years. The film brings a new perspective to the screen with many new ideas. It blows my mind how the filmmakers were able to come up with such an intricate design of the human brain what with our emotions being characters or long term memory being like a huge maze in our brain. There are so many little clever things in the film that really makes you change your perspective on how the mind works.

InsideOut556500e6a2be0-2040.0The story itself is much like an adventure as it focuses on the mind of an eleven year old girl and the difficulties of that age. While she is going on an emotional adventure in the real world, the characters of the emotions are going on an adventure in her mind which makes for some interesting storytelling. Sure the film has its downside as well – 10 minutes into the film the plot starts to meander. Ironically, the biggest casualty of this is Riley herself, whose character and interaction with the real world is quickly lost within the narrative. Aside from her first day at school and a half-baked plot involving her escape from home, she is strangely underused as a character in her own right. It would have been fascinating to see her make new friends and to navigate the pressures of school and a new life in a new city. The characters are all brilliant, colorful and memorable. Maybe not Toy Story memorable, but people would still recognize them. Joy is well…joyful. Amy Poehler as Kaling puts it “is light incarnate” and she’s right! She adds such a warmth and upbeatness to the character while not ending up being annoying. Phyllis Smith as Sadness is one of the best casting choices I have seen in a long time. She is morbidly funny, she is adorable, cuddle some and very smart, (she was the only one who bothered to read the manuals) Lewis Black as Anger. Spot On! You could feel the energy in his voice, yet you still loved this gruff,grumpy character who could still be funny in his own way. Mindy Kaling as Disgust was great to0! Very sarcastic and shallow but not in a mean way, almost in a “It’s my job, deal with it,” kind of way. Bill Hader as Fear was golden! His nervous voice fit so perfectly with his character’s comical movements and delivery that you just felt so sorry for him while laughing as he screamed. Bing Bong, a half cat, elephant, cotton candy, dolphin, candy crying hybrid who was Riley’s friendly and loving imaginary friend when she was little. Although she doesn’t have use for him now that’s she’s eleven, he still stays in her Imagination land. When we first see him he is stealing memories and appears to be far more cute and willing to help than anyone else. At first glance, you would go “Oh, well much like Lotso, King Candy and Hans he’s a villain because of his deceiving appearance.” You would be very wrong. Bing Bong wants to help Joy and Sadness back to headquarters so they can help Riley as her islands of personality start to collapse. He is a pure, Winnie the Pooh meets John Candy type of hug-gable, funny character voiced by the brilliant, Richard Kind!

On the whole, Inside Out, is Pixar‘s back to true form! It is a very clever film with with great animation and music. The actors/actresses do a fine job voicing their parts and the directors really bring the world inside the movie to life. Above all else, the concept and design of the whole movie is amazing. The story is rich with adventure and some good humor. This a brilliantly crafted movie, a rather unique viewing experience of the type that you can only get from Pixar.

Overall Rating: 9.5

Directors – Pete Docter, Ronaldo Del Carmen
Starring (voices of) – Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
Rated – 94 minutes
Run Time – PG

Review: Justice League: Gods and Monsters

Justice-League-Gods-and-Monsters-2015-movie-posterAnimation legend Bruce Timm returns to the popular DC Universe Original Movies with his unique new vision of a Justice League you’ve never seen before. Justice League: Gods & Monsters features a Superman born of General Zod’s blood, a Batman with a healthy dose of bat in the man, and a Wonder Woman rising from the ranks of the New Gods. This ain’t your daddy’s Justice League. They are as likely the world’s saviors as Earth’s despotic rulers. When a group of famed scientists experience untimely “accidents,” a government task force follows the trail of clues to the Justice League — and into a high stakes game of intrigue, mystery and action that asks the question: How do you serve justice to those above the law?

This newest animated movie based on DC Comic characters is a fascinating one in that it really puts a lot of interesting new takes on characters, and while it goes far in some points, it also doesn’t go far enough and explore others. The concept of a Superman not only of Zod’s blood, but raised by immigrant parents is potentially amazing, and worthy of a film all to itself. However to socio and political impact of such a change is only handled by a few sentences or some words in Spanish.

jlgm-group06jpg-806cceChanges for Wonder Woman and Batman too are interesting, and while they get a bit more of a focus on their past, more so than Superman, that is more to really show us what is different in their origin, or provide the reasoning behind something that matters in the film.

The movie reminds me of the classic DC Elseworlds line of comics, spinning out different versions of characters we know. The movie is entertaining, it’s also not super deep other than different versions of characters we know. The murder mystery story is interesting, and gives us a threat that isn’t just another super villain to punch.

The voice acting is solid, I liked the cast, featuring Michael C. Hall as Batman, Benjamin Bratt as Superman, Tamara Taylor as Wonder Woman, and many more who you’d recognize. It’s rare that I’ve had issues with Warner Bros.’ voice casting for their films, and this is no exception there.

I think overall, the movie screams potential for me. There’s tons here to mine and dive deeper in to, I want to see more of it. What we get is very entertaining, but shallow in some ways. I will say, the spin on classic characters, with so many nods for long time fans, will keep DC Comic fans entertained throughout.

Overall rating: 8

Warner Bros./DC Comics provided a FREE copy for review

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s First Promo

Check out the first footage from the new Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy animated series, coming to Disney XD September 26th!

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Animated Short by F. Gary Gray

Ubisoft debuted its animated short inspired by Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, directed by F. Gary Gray, at San Diego Comic-Con. The animated short was released during the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate panel in which Gray participated.

There’s also a behind the scenes video.

Batman Vs. Joker Stop Motion Battle

It’s Batman vs. the Joker in stop motion courtesy of Counter 656. Things get a bit out of hand.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles – “Big”

The latest in the collaboration between Machinima and DC Comics, set in an alternate universe where Wonder Woman is actually the New God Bekka, the warrior goddess must take on a horde of Kobra soldiers to save her friend with benefits, Steve Trevor.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles – “Bomb”

Machinima and DC Comics are back with a new episode of Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles.

Set in an alternate universe where Superman is the son of General Zod, President Amanda Waller turns to the man of steel when a weapon malfunctions and threatens to destroy a city. That weapon’s name… is Brainiac.

The series is produced by Bruce Timm.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles – “Twisted”

The first episode of Machinima and DC ComicsJustice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles has been released. This isn’t the happy go-lucky DC Universe you’ve known. It’s a rather dark take on classic characters reminiscent of an Elseworlds tale.

This episode is set in an alternate universe where Batman is actually Kirk Langstrom, the dark knight pursues a new, more unhinged Harley Quinn.

The series is produced by Bruce Timm.

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem this August

1000518597BRDLEFOOPT_78d653The Dark Knight isn’t seeking tricks or treats when Gotham City’s most lethal villains take to the streets on Halloween night in the newest DC Comics animated film – Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem.  Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment, the original movie arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 18, 2015 for a $19.98 SRP, and via Digital HD on August 4.

It’s Halloween night in Gotham City and Scarecrow, Clayface, Silver Banshee and Solomon Grundy have hit the streets to stir up trouble! Batman is on the trail of the city’s spookiest villains while, further complicating matters, the clown prince of crime himself, The Joker, is ruling over this mysterious crew of misfit criminals. It’s up to the Dark Knight to stop this gruesome gang before they unleash “digital laughter,” a computer virus that’s part of a diabolical plan to jeopardize all of Gotham City’s vital technology. Batman, Green Arrow, Cyborg, Nightwing and Red Robin must combine forces to battle these baddies and save the city.

The stellar voice cast features Roger Craig Smith (Batman: Arkham Origins) as Batman, Troy Baker (Batman: Assault on Arkham) as Joker, Khary Payton (Teen Titans Go!) as Cyborg, Chris Diamantopoulos (Episodes, Silicon Valley) as Green Arrow, Will Friedle (Batman Beyond, Boy Meets World) as Nightwing, Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10) as Red Robin, Kari Wuhrer (Sharknado 2, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) as Silver Banshee, Fred Tatasciore (LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham) as Solomon Grundy, Brian T. Delaney (Mad, Halo 3 & 4) as Scarecrow, Dave B. Mitchell (World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor) as Clayface, Noel Fisher (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) as Gogo Shoto, and Alastair Duncan (Mass Effect games, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) reprising his The Batman TV series role as Alfred.

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem DVD contains the following special features:

  • GOTHAM 2030: Designing a Future World – The artistic team responsible for bringing this future Gotham City to life will take you on an exploration of their creative process, from their earliest concept sketches through the final eye-popping landscapes. Welcome to a Gotham City of tomorrow!
  • Ten shorts from the popular DC Nation collection, including “SHAZAM! Courage,” “SHAZAM! Wisdom,” “SHAZAM! Stamina,” “Green Arrow: Onomotopoeia-Bot,” “Green Arrow: Brick,” “Green Arrow: Cupid,” “Deadman: Deadman Catch,” “Animal Man vs. Captain Cold,” “Animal Man vs. Black Manta” and “Riddler: Riddle Me This!”
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