The animation of Masaaki Yuasa is singular in the sense that we have seen nothing truly like it, yet it would not exist without its anxiety of influences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Revolutionary filmmakers are shaping the future of cinema by analyzing our destabilized planet. Snowpiercer director Bong Joon Ho’s new vision Okja, out today from Netflix, was inspired by biodiversity at the mercy of capitalization and extinction.
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.
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.
The National Film Board of Canada is responsible for some of the finest animation the world has ever seen. It has also created world-changing documentaries exploring and analyzing how and why our world changes as it does, for better and worse.
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.
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.
Batman is more than capable of meeting demand across social, economic, political and cultural divides.
A wordless wonder in the tradition of Chaplin, with an eye to rural labor and love, Aardman’s stop-motion masterpiece is for everyone, everywhere.
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.
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.
Let’s turn back to the greatest jam band on the bones, and a master of literary horror, reanimated.