Animated movies in 2014

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Animated movies in 2014

Post by ShyViolet » November 9th, 2013, 11:51 am

Lots of good stuff coming out! :)

http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/28071/t ... es-of-2014

*Warning: There are some decidedly adult ads there I didn't notice at first, sorry. :oops:
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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Dacey » November 18th, 2013, 6:56 pm

The LEGO Movie and How to Train Your Dragon 2 are on the top of my list at this point. :)
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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Ben » November 19th, 2013, 6:26 pm

See, I'm not enthused about this Lego outing at all...it just looks like another branded made for video pastiche that's done with Lego figures and gone theatrical.

I was really hoping for a proper Lego Movie, maybe a crazy comedy adventure just set in an everyday world of Lego (perhaps with a character coming to terms that he's Lego) or a take on Toy Story, where Lego comes to life and some figures have to go on a journey to find a missing character or something. You know...Lego?

Instead we're getting a fake Justice League movie that, as a comedy, could damage *that* brand before it has a chance. We've seen that kind of thing since the Star Wars net shorts years ago...and with another current Marvel-themed title around now. This seems nothing new to me, when it could have been something unique, original and so much more...

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by EricJ » November 20th, 2013, 11:38 pm

Ben wrote:See, I'm not enthused about this Lego outing at all...it just looks like another branded made for video pastiche that's done with Lego figures and gone theatrical.
It's A Lego movie made by people who never really saw the game cutscenes before, and said people being the writers of Cloudy/Meatballs (1) and 21 Jump Street.
To some people, the former may sound like a good thing, but... :roll:

(Oh, and just because Batman's in it doesn't mean it's a Lego Batman movie--Y'see, all the different characters from all the sets are in it, and...okay, never mind.)

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Dacey » November 21st, 2013, 12:47 am

They were actually the directors of those movies, Eric. And yes, many of us would consider that a "good thing." ;)

Especially since Meatballs 2 suffered greatly with them not being in the director's chair on that one. The brilliant wit of the original just wasn't there, sadly.
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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Scar » November 21st, 2013, 3:05 am

On the top of my list to go see is Boxtrolls and the two Ghibli films if they happen to be playing at my local theaters. I got to see The Secret World of Arrietty one year in theaters for my birthday and it was the first time I got to see an anime movie in theaters and it was an incredible experience. I'd love to see The Wind Rises and The Story of Princess Kaguya in theaters if I got the chance. I still need to see Coralline but ParaNorman is one of my top favorite American animated movies so I'm really excited for Boxtrolls. The world can always use more stop motion animated films.

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Ben » November 21st, 2013, 3:52 am

Agreed! :)

"Meatballs 2"? It also lost a lot with no Bill Murray in it... ;)

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Dacey » November 22nd, 2013, 12:13 pm

...

I suppose I asked for that one. ;)
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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by EricJ » November 23rd, 2013, 4:05 am

Scar wrote:I still need to see Coralline but ParaNorman is one of my top favorite American animated movies so I'm really excited for Boxtrolls.
You are correct, sir: If you liked Paranorman and are "excited" for Boxtrolls, you NEED to see Coraline. I can think of no more accurate word. ;)

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by GeorgeC » December 9th, 2013, 12:03 am

Scar wrote:On the top of my list to go see is Boxtrolls and the two Ghibli films if they happen to be playing at my local theaters. I got to see The Secret World of Arrietty one year in theaters for my birthday and it was the first time I got to see an anime movie in theaters and it was an incredible experience. I'd love to see The Wind Rises and The Story of Princess Kaguya in theaters if I got the chance. I still need to see Coralline but ParaNorman is one of my top favorite American animated movies so I'm really excited for Boxtrolls. The world can always use more stop motion animated films.
You'll get to see a LOT MORE Japanese stuff next year -- especially if you live in the US and near a university town.
There are companies getting into smaller exhibition of foreign films -- this is being targeted mainly at anime features.
They're doing one-day exhibitions in art theaters and cinemas mostly near universities across the US and (probably) Canada. It's a one day, one time thing so you have to go when they post showings that day... they don't repeat those showings. Look online at sites like AnimeNewsNetwork and you can find links to the film websites that will have the location showings dates and times. It's been a slow-building thing for the past few years but since even Disney's scaled back its exhibition of Ghibli features in theaters it's the best development in years for theatrical anime in the US -- aside from waiting for home video releases that may or may not be worth the money (which they aren't well over half the time).

All the Ghibli product is coming to Blu ray in the States but it will be about a year longer wait because of reverse importation.
There's a huge difference between Japanese mentality and the US... American studios will take a hit on initial home video orders knowing they will probably make at least half their money overseas, otherwise they'd charge even more than they do already in the US. The Japanese studios do NOT even consider international franchising for the most part for initial profit calculations. They expect to at least break even and do it in their home territory. That's a big reason why the home video releases are so much more expensive besides the fact that everything else in Japan is more expensive, period!
The Ghibli Blu rays cost, on average half as much in the US as they do in the US; right now, you can get them up to 60% off at DisneyMovieClub IF you're a DisneyMovieClub member. The Blu rays AND DVD's were 50% at Amazon.com until this past Saturday. The Amazon sale is unfortunately over... :(
Tokuma/Ghibli -- and by extension, Disney -- WANTS to make as much money off the Japanese home video releases before they even consider what they'll sell in the US. There are several films which will likely NEVER be sold in the US by Disney because A) they're too adult or "too Japanese" for American animation audiences and B) the licenses to these films are held by different companies -- see Grave of the Fireflies, see From Up on Poppy Hill. C) Disney has first dibs on Ghibli films but they DON'T have to license them; they're concentrating on Hayao Miyazaki because he's become an internationally-known household name. He's an easy sell they don't have to do a bunch of advertising for. There's only a few American animation individuals who are probably better-known than him and most of those men are dead now...

Europe gets a lot of Ghibli stuff earlier because A) the films are often licensed by companies other than Disney; Disney holds US and Japanese home video distribution rights as well as theatrical distribution in the US; B) since European Blu rays have different region coding than Japan and the US which share identical (Region A) coding, it's easier to enforce street date/market controls. Almost all the Ghibli films out on Blu ray in Japan are also out on Blu ray in Europe! Problem: Don't expect those discs to play on your PS3 or American Blu ray player... It's the DVD situation all over again!

(*I'm not getting into DVD; DVD's been around almost 20 years now and everybody by now should know the story there or can look up the rhyme, reason, and nonsense behind DVD region coding. It makes me head hurt even typing this out!)

I'm seeing that the past year has actually been somewhat good for non-Studio Ghibli Japanese theatrical animation product. There are some really good films coming out from directors who aren't named Miyazaki, have spotty track records (Shoji Kawamori, Rin Taro, Otomo, etc. -- 85% of the feature directors!), or are unfortunately dead and much missed (Satoshi Kon).

The same group that produced "Summer Wars" came out with "Wolf Children" which is also supposed to be very good. It's out on video in the US right now.

There's a Blood/Last Vampire feature film that's actually supposed to be good. It's called Blood-C: The Last Dark and is out on US home video, too. You can pretty much skip the rest of the animation in that franchise... the only other one in the series that was good was the original film, Blood: The Last Vampire. Goes without saying neither of these films is really suitable for children!

The big one that's not getting much talk is Akira. Re-released for the first time in like 3-4 years in the US; out-of-print and way overpriced on previous Blu ray and DVD editions. The new release can be found online for $25 or less. What makes the new release different is that it's the first time since the laser disc days that the original 1988 English dub has been available on optical disc in the States! You can listen to either English dub (1988/2001) or the remastered Japanese audio. Also NOT recommended for children.
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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Ben » December 9th, 2013, 6:53 pm

Gotta say I'm tempted by the Akira Blu!

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by GeorgeC » December 11th, 2013, 6:31 am

It's a solid Blu ray from all reports, Ben...

It's essentially identical to the 2007 Bandai Visual/Honneamise release (which I have the limited edition run of) in content. Don't bother with the 2007 release... it's both rare and ridiculously overpriced now like most prized (overhyped?) anime released in the English-speaking world gets after it goes out-of-print. Sometimes I HATE the existence of Amazon.com marketplace and e-Bay for that fact!

I've listened to both Akira English dubs.

Frankly, the 2001 dub isn't that much better if at all than the original 1988 dub. The dub voices for the Tetsuo character sound practically the same as I remember things! The 1988 English dub was supervised by Droosan's one-time boss, Carl Macek! Macek was co-founder of Streamline Pictures with Jerry Beck. Their company was the first to release Akira on home video (VHS tape). Before its VHS release in the US, Streamline Pictures exhibited Akira across the US in art theaters near many college campuses for about 2-3 years. I became aware of Akira when it was playing in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I never saw it in theaters but heard people talking about it. I bought the VHS tape about a year, 18 months after that.

Aside from an Australian DVD, I can't think of any place in the English-speaking world that has had the original English dub on video for many, many years. I'm sadly old enough to remember when BOTH the VHS releases and Criterion laserdisc (which I still have) were brand-new. I've owned the film across VHS, laserdisc, DVD, PSP UMD, and now Blu ray in two releases. I still own all but the VHS and PSP UMD copies I bought in the past.

Yes, I bought the Funimation Blu ray release specifically for the original English dub which features Cam Clarke (aka Jimmy Flinders, Max Sterling/Robotech, Lancer/Yellow Dancer//Robotech, Der Flierdermaus/The Tick, etc.) as the voice of Kaneda, the lead character.

I sort of have a love-hate relationship with this film believe it or not. It's wonderfully animated but the story's rushed because the film was made in the middle of the release of the manga it's based on. The manga was finished years after the film's production concluded so Otomo had to close some things fast in the film which is still two hours long! (Only the Japanese make two-hour long animated films!) It's not the best anime feature ever made but it IS a landmark and got many people into anime over the past 25 years since it was originally released. (I was an anime fan YEARS before Akira surfaced on home video. THAT was because of Robotech. Project A-ko AND Akira started my anime collecting habit which is now going into its third decade with only a few lapses/months of not buying any anime! LOL)

Akira has acquired the status of being a "Citizen Kane" in anime features whether people love the movie or not. It is technically brilliant even if the story leaves some people cold -- which is how and WHY I would equate it to the earlier live-action film I just named. It's also probably the best anime feature Otomo has produced/directed. His other anime works, Steamboy and Roujin Z best-known among them, is very hit-and-miss. There are very few people that would call Akira a "complete failure." It's far from that.

I can think of several anime features that tell their stories better but not many that do it with the style and high level of animation this film has. The animation in it is some of the best that's come out of Japan, period. It's certainly as good as most of the REALLY good animation produced in the West. It's at a level that's higher than what's been seen historically in most anime features before or since.... certainly better than most hand-drawn anime features at any rate. Most anime IS limited animation but Akira has more constant motion than even some Disney features! It's definitely good animation.

One thing the Blu ray misses is the "Akira Production Report" which was on the Pioneer/Geneon DVD deluxe release (which I still own!) and released on its own as a VHS documentary from the movie. There's also a lot of material that's exclusive to the Criterion laserdisc release. See, in addition to supervising the English dub of Akira, Carl Macek was a collector of anime art AND a one-time animation gallery owner that specialized in anime. Macek owned a lot of production art from Akira which included whole animated sequences of that film. Criterion was able to create "pencil tests" with pencil artwork that Macek acquired after production of Akira. I'm presuming that artwork has since been sold. Macek himself has been dead for years although I think I've read that his widow, Svea, may still be associated with Harmony Gold, the company Macek worked for in the past (on projects like Robotech and earlier pre-Disney English dubs of Studio Ghibli anime features). Macek supervised the earlier English dubs for My Neighbor Totoro (which is on the Fox Home Video releases of that movie) and Kiki's Delivery Service. The English dubs for Castle in the Sky and Nausicaa Valley of the Wind (aka "Warriors of the Wind") were horribly directed/destroyed by someone else. Macek's Ghibli English dubs were actually very good by most accounts... I've only seen his dub version for Totoro, though. The earlier English dubs for Ghibli films have become unavailable in the United States since Disney optioned these movies. It's possible the dubs have surfaced on later DVD and Blu ray releases outside of the US that Disney has no connection to. The original Ghibli English audio tracks were available on the older Japanese laserdisc sets of the movies in the 1990s. As I've read elsewhere, the earlier English-dubbed versions of the Ghibli movies used to be shown on JAL flights, too.

I'm surprised the Criterion Akira laserdisc hasn't been priced higher because of the extras that are exclusive to that set. Those pencil tests and so forth I don't think have resurfaced on the later home video releases of Akira... at least not in the US to my knowledge.
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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Ben » December 12th, 2013, 4:04 pm

It's the 2001 LE steelbook/tin DVD edition that I have (Pioneer/Geneon as far as I can remember) that I have. Actually, I also have a broadcast tape master of the film that I picked up from a place I was working at, and although I've never checked the dub on that I'd expect it to be the earlier first English edition track.

I wasn't really aware of the film until just a few years before 2001, and based mainly on its reputation. I'd seen it on TV (in the first English dub) and been impressed enough to get the 2001 set and then watched it properly, and it's been a favorite ever since. While not in the top tier of classic animated films for me, it's still immensely important and one of only a few manga-style anime features I own or would watch over and over. Like a lot of Japanimation, the ending goes berserk and loses me, but everything leading up to it is top class and so well executed that I wouldn't mind sitting and watching it again. With that in mind, and with the majority of extras intact with the two dubs, the BD does look like the one to own.

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by EricJ » December 12th, 2013, 9:40 pm

(Wow, you read all the way through BOTH of those posts? I didn't even get halfway through the first one!)

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Re: Animated movies in 2014

Post by Ben » December 13th, 2013, 6:48 am

Actually...it's called scanning... ;)

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