Word is out around Hollywood that 80′s favorite ALF will be coming to the big screen finally. In case you need a refresher: “ALF stands for Alien Life Form, and the ’80s sitcom centered on a friendly furry alien creature (a puppet) who crash landed on Earth and took up with the Tanners, a suburban family. ALF, whose name was later revealed as Gordon Shumway, is sarcastic and has an appetite for cats. He courts trouble with government forces that are on his tail.” According to the article in Hollywood Reporter (and elsewhere), Jordan Kerner — who produced last year’s hit movie The Smurfs — was pegged by Sony Pictures to produce the new picture. Again, it will be a live-action feature film with ALF himself as a CGI character. Tom Patchett and Paul Fusco, creators of the original TV series, will be involved as co-producers. Paul Fusco was also ALF’s main puppeteer and voice actor, and he’s expected to be the character voice for the new film as well. So far there’s no word as to a main script writer, a director, or a planned release date… but watch your cats just in case.
Pixar is not the only studio that can make movies about anthropomorphic toys. The Cartoon Brew website announces that on September 7, indy distributor Hannover House will release an English-language dub of Czech director Jiří Barta’s 2009 feature Na půdě (In the Attic) in America, as Toys in the Attic. This is a mixed feature combining stop-motion puppetry, 2D cartoon animation, and live action.
It’s an analogy based on the cultural and political contrasts of the Cold War era; the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the Land of Evil in the East.
The Cartoon Brew website announces that the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts Gallery is presenting an exhibit, “DreamWorlds: Behind the Scenes, Production Art from DreamWorks Animation” from July 30 through September 7.
DreamWorks’ works include more than just anthropomorphic animals, of course (Prince of Egypt, anyone?), but there has been SO MUCH anthropomorphization in its 24 features!
The exhibition includes more than one hundred digital prints and approximately thirty traditional paintings and drawings on paper; two miniature sets; three character maquettes; two set pieces – an 8′ high Kung Fu Panda “Po” statue and the new Rise of the Guardians standee; and three media stations displaying animation tests, stereo footage, and the Rise of the Guardians trailer. There will also be a contemporary animation work station on display, with demonstrations given by current Hench-DADA students.
Japanese animated feature Ame and Yuki, The Wolf Children (Ookami kodomo no Ame to Yuki), produced by Madhouse and directed by Mamoru Hosoda, was released in Japan on July 21, the same weekend as the Japanese release of Pixar’s Brave. Box office results show that The Wolf Children ranked second, earning $4,592,490 (¥360,372,690), while Brave was in fifth place with $1,858,971 (¥145,873,454). 1st and 4th places were held by live-action features, while #3 went to this year’s annual Pokémon feature, Pocket Monsters: Best Wishes 2012.
The theme of the film is the love between parents and children. The story covers 13 years and begins with a 19-year-old college student named Hana who encounters and falls in "fairy tale-like" love with a "wolf man." After marrying the wolf man [named Ookami, Wolf], Hana gives birth and raises two wolf children — an older sister named Yuki [Snow] who was born on a snowy day, and a younger brother named Ame [Rain] who was born on a rainy day. The four quietly lived in a corner of a city to conceal the existence of the "wolf children," but when the wolf man suddenly dies, Hana decides to move to a rural town far removed from the city.
Read on for trailers and a more comprehensive plot summary . . .
Note: I have been asked by crossaffliction to review this movie, as he is "on vacation". I understand I have big shoes to fill, so please, save the tomatoes until the end.
First off, I should probably explain the title of this review. It has to do with what a pain it was to go see this movie. My car is broken, and it is literally a hundred degrees outside. No biggie, go through Main Street and it isn't far from my house, walking won't be too hard, right? Unfortunately, Chanute won some Google-partnership thing. I'm not exactly sure why that means they have to tear up half of Main Street and temporarily close many small businesses there, but by God that's what they did.
What this meant for me was that I now had to walk much farther to circumvent the construction. Perhaps not much further, but I'm a hundred-something-pound weakling. I would have shaken my fists in anger to the heavens, but it was simply much too hot for such activity. So, by the time I reached the theater, I was sweating like a whipped bantha.
Anyway, on to the actual review.
This month, nothing new is going on in the circuit, so I have devised a thought experiment to try and guess what movies might have been nominated and won Best Animated Feature if it had always existed as an Oscar category.
Cartoon Brew reports that animator/director Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) was giving out this colored print for The Croods, the coming 2013 Disney animated feature, at the Comic-Con last week. We don't know yet if any of its animals are anthropomorphic, but there are enough exotic non-human critters to please most Furry fans.
Evergreen Media Group has acquired the rights to Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, a cartoon series from the 1960s. Courageous Cat, created by comic book artist Bob Kane, was a parody of Kane's better-known creation: Batman.
Courageous Cat and his sidekick were a crime-fighting duo who lived in the Cat Cave, and, when summoned by the Cat Signal, would race to the scene of the crime in their red Cat Mobile. Courageous Cat would then fight the bad guys with his all-purpose Cat Gun.
Enough to include them in anime OH SO VERY OFTEN, and make a considerable number of movies starring them.
This one is an interesting example [site fails sporadically; alternate trailers] – directed by the same person responsible for Night on the Galactic Railroad (IMDB) and based, again, on a work by Kenji Miyazawa. And once again, the director used cats to tell the story. (Most of the character designs were lifted from Galactic Railroad as well.)
The romanized version of the movie's title is Guskô Budori no Denki, or "The Life of Guskô Budori". Set in 1920, Guskô is forced to leave his home in the forests of the Tōhoku region of Japan after a series of natural disasters, joining scientists in the Ihatov Volcano Bureau who are studying them. Meanwhile, Guskô pursues the wintery tomcat who stole away his sister. Released July 7 in Japan.
Bunnymund is back, in this second trailer for DreamWorks' CGI Rise of the Guardians. Also Jack Frost, who was conspicuously missing from the first trailer. Bunnymund is still the only one who makes this an anthro movie, but, oh, does he look good!
Due in theaters on November 21st. [Thanks again, Cartoon Brew.]
Are self-aware robots anthropomorphic? Hey, I think that I’ve asked th... [Ed.: !]
In this short tale a father tries to encourage his son to overcome his fears and shows that even in this digital age that the trials of parenthood remain constant.
Are self-aware robots anthropomorphic? Hey, I think that I've asked this question before.
The sad fact is that a lot of people are in fact fans, and yes, I believe that that is a sad fact. To be clear, I am not down on gross-out humor, and can enjoy it as well as anyone else. Heck, I have done standup comedy, and such gags were a standard part of my sets. Gross-out humor is not my problem with this movie.
The problem is it is pretty much exactly what I expected. It is probably exactly what you expected, too. So, if you expect to like this movie, go on and get your ticket. If not, you can pretend to be a snob with me and the other cool kids, okay?
Pixar’s newest movie, Brave, is about a princess who turns her mother into a bear. I have a problem with Pixar, and in reviewing Brave, I would like to get up on a soapbox for a bit and explain that problem.
Many people really like Pixar movies, and think they are the best thing to happen to animation since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but I still have my problem.
That said, Brave deserves to be judged on its merits as a movie first, an animated movie second, and as a Pixar movie last of all.
The Cartoon Brew presents a trailer for Saving Sally, a Filipino feature-in-progress by Avid Liongoren. The two-years-in-progress feature combines live-action footage, cartoon animation, matte paintings, and motion graphics.
As far as the plot can be made out from this one-minute trailer (three Vimeo trailers, in fact), Sally is a live-action college student whose boyfriend is a nerdy amateur comic-book artist. The comic-book drawings come to life, and the anthropomorphic monster falls in love with Sally and won’t stop following her around. As the feature progresses, Sally herself starts switching back and forth between live-action and very surrealistic animation in which she identifies more and more with the monsters.
It’s a very original take on anthropomorphism. Saving Sally may or may not get finished, and it may or may not get to the U.S., so don’t miss this trailer. The Cartoon Brew is chock-full of animation, which is all fascinating even when it is not about anthropomorphic animation.