Category Archives: Animation

At 80, LEGO’s Never Been So Animated

(Re-posted from Tweed)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdDU_BBJW9Y]

On a recent episode of ConanLord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan stated that he and fellow Hobbit Elijah Wood shared a goal of building the Millennium Falcon together. In true-to-life size, this would be a lofty achievement, but don’t let their ambition be undercut by the fact that they plan on building the famed Star Wars ship out of LEGOs. If nothing else, this is a testament to the fact that this 80-year-old company and its classic plastic bricks appeal to people of all ages—and is as relevant today as it has ever been.

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, LEGO has released a short, animated film that celebrates its heritage by chronicling the company’s humble beginnings, growing pains, and successes in narrative form. Narrated by a character that represents Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former President and CEO of LEGO Group and grandson of company founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, “The LEGO® Story” provides a whimsical glance at how the world’s third-largest manufacturer of play materials came to be.

Continue reading At 80, LEGO’s Never Been So Animated

Short Film: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

This animated short film by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg is this year’s Oscar winner for Best Short Film (Animated). Immediately below the film is Joyce’s and Oldenburg’s acceptance speech.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adzywe9xeIU] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9rme79ptdA]

Short Film: “A Trip to the Moon”

Martin Scorsese’s recent film Hugo prominently features pioneering French filmmaker Georges Méliès and his works, chief among them is his 1902 short “A Trip to the Moon” (“Le Voyage dans la lune”). This film has the distinction of being the very first science-fiction film. It follows a small group of astronomers who journey to the moon and discover its inhabitants.

This film features innovative animation and special effects. It was named one of the 100 greatest films of the 20th century (#84) in a Village Voice poll.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYRemE9Oeso&ob=av1n]

Coming Soon: The Adventures of Tintin

Belgian artist Georges Remi—under the pen name Hergé—introduced Tintin to the world in 1929. The beloved character who is a Belgian reporter sets out on a series of adventures with his dog Snowy and best pal Captain Haddock. Though the characters originally lived in a comic strip, throughout the years they were reproduced in a variety of media, including books, movies, TV, and theatre, and were translated into more than 50 languages. It seems the popular series is well known and loved in almost every part of the world—except America. But that’s soon to change.

As is by now widely known, legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg (director) and fellow Oscar-winner Peter Jackson (producer) will bring The Adventures of Tintin to US audiences starting this Wednesday, following the film’s initial bow in oversees markets, where the characters and stories first found success and praise. In this first of at least two films by the filmmaking duo, Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Haddock (Andy Serkis) set off on a quest to find a sunken ship that was commanded by Haddock’s ancestor. (Though Spielberg directs this first installment, it’s been reported that Jackson will sit in the director’s chair for the film’s follow-up effort.)

Continue reading Coming Soon: The Adventures of Tintin

Short Film: “Oktapodi”

This 2008 Oscar-nominated animated French short film was directed by Emud Mokhberi, Thierry Marchand, Julien Bocabeille, François-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, and Quentin Marmier. It’s a quick watch, at just 2:26.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=badHUNl2HXU]

Short Film: “Alma”

Check out this great animated short, “Alma,” written and directed by Rodrigo Blaas. The filmmaker has animated several Pixar films, including Up, WALL-E, Cars, Finding Nemo, and others. “Alma” is his directorial debut. The film won the Best Animation award at the 2009 L.A. Shorts Fest. In what I can best describe as a beautiful nightmare, this film would make Tim Burton proud. (Thanks, Janice!)