Writing about animation provides me the opportunity to probe the minds of brave filmmakers working against stereotype and industry. That struggle found an apotheosis in the surreal fever dream of Birdboy, whose directors I interviewed ahead of their awards season tour.
Earth is inspiring, even in the midst of failure. This is an important lesson I learned after interviewing director Robin Joseph about his stunning animated short, Fox and the Whale, a homemade, hand-drawn cli-fi fable debuting, to Oscar acclaim, in a world on fire.
I’ve been looking forward to interviewing Nora Twomey, especially now that her empowering adaptation of The Breadwinner has arrived, with the aid of Angelina Jolie, to shine a light back on Afghanistan, still in the crosshairs of the longest war in American history.
One of our most persistent fictions of climate change is that the food industry, whose waste and emissions must be brought under immediate control if we are to survive the Anthropocene, can live without immigrants, whose existence puts the lie to nations and nationalism.
Call it syndication, or call it the sharing economy. It feels good to see your hard work spread across the spectrum. So thanks to Quartz for picking up my Civil Eats analysis of the Farm Bill’s impending doom.
As the establishment continues to reject toxic industry, the movement to place our attention on issues worth the public’s time is reaching critical mass. And that movement will likely sweep The Breadwinner into awards season.
My latest investigation for Civil Eats is not so much alarming as predictable. The current presidential administration, already an international laughingstock, has targeted farmers markets for elimination. The punishment? Death by pointless cuts.
Some of the most influential animation in history have come from the hearts and minds of Phil LaMarr and Carl Jones, including The Boondocks, Samurai Jack, and more. That was all I needed to pick up the phone.
It may not seem like we need to have a three-day festival in Hollywood celebrating animation as cinema with a capital C. But if that was the case, I would not have spent the weekend with my girls in Hollywood at the Animation Is Film festival, watching stunning animated cinema and interviewing talented directors.
In a globally warming, warring world where Americans throw away half the food they grow, nourishing activism with a heart and mind in service of renewable peace is paramount. Enter author Julia Turshen, who I profiled for Civil Eats.
This investigation for Civil Eats is about the terminology we take for granted so that billions of dollars can exchange hands in the organic market. Given that we throw away over a third of the food we ask our burning Earth to provide us, we don’t have wiggle room for such inauthenticity and inefficiency.
For decades, cooler-headed Canada has helped lead the way in animation innovation and mindful programming. Its rising studio Guru is carrying those goals forward, with the help of Pharrell Williams, in the fantastic new Netflix series, True and the Rainbow Kingdom.
Written by an immigrant Jew hounded by Hitler, and envisioned by a Chinese immigrant dreaming of America, Walt Disney’s Bambi remains an unheeded warning of terror and terraformation, sadly forgotten by a burning world careening into an exponential apocalypse.
This expressive war epic from the assistant director of Kiki’s Delivery Service handles the toughest of topics with art, skill and grace. I spoke with director Sunao Katabuchi for Cartoon Brew.
Stephen King’s horror novel never saw this real-time nightmare coming. A state-sized dead zone at the bottom of the South, which is so deprived of oxygen it might as well be deep space — which is, recalling Alien, where no one can hear you scream.
The fact that Amazon chose to invest a healthy budget in Titmouse and Niko, in search of staying power and cultural relevance, should be a warning shot to the animation business as usual. After all, as Titmouse told me, we’re in a cartoon gold rush.
I’ve spoken a few times with animation auteur, Ralph Bakshi, who pioneered the pathways of underground and overground cartoons for decades. This time, we analyze the live-action/animation merge of Cool World, which like its foundational forebear, Lord of the Rings, created the CGI universe we take for granted today.
It is my honor to be writing for the Center for Biological Diversity’s shiny new publication, The Revelator. My first piece is an interview with the fearless Jeff Orlowski, director of Chasing Ice, and now, Chasing Coral.
For me, there’s only one song that explains the United States of America falling apart in the 21st century, and it is probably no cosmological accident that it is written by the late, great Chris Cornell and Soundgarden.
When I first learned that Matthew Rankin was crafting a surreal short about Nikola Tesla, I knew I soon would be picking his fertile brain about free energy, bird love, and why dystopians are marching to the sixth mass extinction.
My latest piece for Civil Eats chronicles the victory of sanity over nonsense, Earth over concrete, regeneration over regression. It was an honor to write, and even more brilliant to witness in person.
Today, I sit here stunned, sifting through press releases telling me what Chris — and Soundgarden, and Temple of the Dog, and Audioslave, and every other artist that Cornell’s widening influence deeply touched — have been doing for the last several years.
The debut trailer of Cartoon Saloon’s newest animated exploration has come at last.
An international collaboration directed by the gifted Nora Twomey, who I’ll interview later this year, and co-produced by Angelina Jolie, whom you may have heard of, The Breadwinner examines the terror and terraformation of Afghanistan through a gender-fluid prism quite rare for animation.
One of the great things about writing for Civil Eats is that I get a chance to explore several existential concerns at once. For my second piece, I was lucky enough to analyze and evangelize solarization, decarbonization and an agricultural infrastructure with a future.
From director Tomm Moore’s Oscar-nominated masterpieces The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea, to director Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner and beyond into the great unknown, the indie studio that was once international animation’s best-kept secret is a secret no longer.