The Toronto Youth Shorts festival is a great platform for aspiring filmmakers and for storytellers with a lot on their mind. I can usually count on the selections to cover themes from cultural reflections to personal discoveries, with an occasional fluffy piece to break up the weight of these programmes.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but A Wizard’s Tale – a film intended for small children – took me a while to finish. The storytelling, so hyper. The humour, so random. And no matter how many times I rewatched pivotal parts, I was still left dumbfounded. When our heroes reached a kingdom of “balloon-people”, I knew I wasn’t losing it – the movie was.
The How to Train Your Dragon series receives a fulfilling finale with The Hidden World, a sensational sequel that not only ties its saga back to the creation of legendary stories, but also features the best visuals DreamWorks Animation has ever produced.
By: Trevor Chartrand Animation studio Laika Entertainment has a reputation for dark and brooding content with releases like Corpse Bride (2005) or Coraline (2009), but this year’s Missing Link breaks their mold as a fun-for-most-ages adventure story.
Art has been known to be so vivid and realistic that it can leap off the page, the canvas, et cetera. That saying becomes quite literal for psychotherapist Ruben Brandt, who is experiencing surrealists nightmares of famous paintings torturing him. In order to confront and conquer his fears, Brandt makes a bold choice to steal and obtain each work of art that haunts him, therefore being in full control of whatever is “out” to get…
The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (February 15-17) is an essential stop for movie goers who indulge in worldwide animation.
I’ve been hard on Illumination in the past, but for a good reason. Universal’s animation company always seemed to be borrowing from other brands, from copycat plots to specific character designs. This makes the studio’s version of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch a bit of an anomaly. It’s an existing, well known property that could’ve been another clone but, instead, Illumination has provided a new take on the popular Dr. Seuss curmudgeon, which also includes luscious animation…
In Masaaki Yuasa’s energetically animated Lu Over the Wall, shy student Kai makes an interesting discovery with music.
By: Jessica Goddard A loving tribute to man’s best friend, Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is an imaginative, playful, and visually fascinating stop-motion fable that should appeal to animal lovers of every kind. Endlessly clever and unapologetically fun, this movie keeps you guessing and isn’t afraid to misdirect for the sake of a good twist.
By: Trevor Chartrand Director Wes Anderson is at it again with another quirky stop-motion animated feature, his second foray into the genre since 2009’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox. In Isle of Dogs, Anderson’s gone above and beyond to create a clever, stylized, and memorable motion picture.