Isao Takahata: 1935-2018

April 9, 2018 Morphizm 0

A towering influence.

And yet he still left so much to be discovered.

I watch his art each night before dreaming.

Rest in peace, dear influential.

Dissecting The Big Bad Fox’s Hand-Drawn Laugh-Off

January 11, 2018 Morphizm 0

In our apocalyptic epoch, sometimes you need an old-school good time grounded in the natural world. Enter The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, from the directors of the wondrous Ernest and Celestine, who I interviewed ahead of their consecutive Academy Awards nod.

Cli-Fi: Birdboy’s Interconnected Pollution

January 9, 2018 Morphizm 0

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.

Cli-Fi: Fox And The Whale’s Metafictional Immersion

January 3, 2018 Morphizm 0

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.

Say It Loud and Proud, Oscars: Animation Is Film

November 1, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

A Cartoon Man’s Cartoon Men

October 28, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Animation Is Film, Said The Festival

October 23, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Guru Studio’s Aim is True

September 8, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Cli-Fi: 75 Years Later, Bambi Terrorizes

August 15, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Niko and The Sword of Light Illuminates Amazon

July 31, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Looking Back at Animation’s Future, With Ralph Bakshi

July 24, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Animating Hiroshima’s War-Torn Corner of the World

July 7, 2017 Morphizm 0

An assistant director on Hayao Miyazaki’s sublime, stunning Kiki’s Delivery Service, Sunao Katabuchi has since made his name well-known in anime film and television. But his impressive new film, the award-winning Hiroshima epic, In This Corner of the World, might make him a household name worldwide.

It’s Hard To Be A Utopian!

May 26, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Cli-Fi: The Breadwinner Patiently Arrives

May 16, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

Capitalizing, Commemorating Wonder Woman

March 28, 2017 Morphizm 0

In our world of perpetual war, creator William Moulton Marston’s subversive, aspirational Amazonian intertext has returned to the battlefront, with mainstream audiences and Wall Street earnings in mind.

Cartoon Saloon Schools St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2017 Morphizm 0

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.

At Last, Samurai Jack Returns

February 6, 2017 Morphizm 0

Last year, I once again interviewed Samurai Jack creator and animation auteur, Genndy Tartakovsky, who told me the samurai’s arrival was imminent. Now here he is, in all of his glory and wonder, when we need him most.

Cli-Fi: Paco Roca Goes To The Lighthouse

January 22, 2017 Morphizm 0

Paco Roca’s Wrinkles was one of the most moving graphic novels, and animated films, in recent memory. His promising new comic charts a path through the destabilizing territories of war and healing properties of the natural world.