Posts Tagged ‘Animated Movie’

Kung-Fu Panda

June 11, 2008

Kung-Fu Panda

In recent years I’ve largely been disappointed by animated movies. Even Pixar’s Cars couldn’t draw me to the theatre. Finally Wall-E opens this summer, but before that, a surprise. And a surprise worth everyone’s 14 dollars. Kung-Fu Panda does what other animated films now forget to do. It tells it’s story without choosing a different aspect of pop culture to reference every 5 lines (even the puns that litter other movie posters were thankfully lacking during the marketing campaign, as were the annoying references to all the starts that lent their voices…who cares???), but the film also takes full advantage of the fact that…it’s…animated.

Drawing loads of inspiration from the Chinese Fantasy Martial Arts films in which Kung-Fu masters fight on mountain tops and forests; these animals balance, jump, dive, fly, roll and hurtle through the air like pieces of paper in a tornado. It’s beautiful and on occasions visually overwhelming in scope – almost scary. But never once is it not fun or thrilling. The first five minutes alone exceeds the level of visual/visceral film making and personality/humor than any other Dreamworks animated film I’ve ever seen (including Shrek — I enjoyed the second one a little…)



“Persepolis”: And the resistance dies quietly…

January 1, 2008


There are images in Persepolis that hold the emotional weight which most movies can’t force out of me in two hours. There’s haunting images, images of joy, of fear, sadness, hatred, beauty and because the imagery is so strong – it’s a black and white graphic novel style animation that accentuates the emotional struggle by exaggerating human characteristics, nuns that move around like snakes is a particular joy to watch (the image above) – and with this strong surrealistic style it heightens the feeling of what it’s like to have the country you grew up in┬átaken away from you and controlled by religious fanatics who are more power hungry than righteous. Then being uprooted from your suddenly morphing home and sent to another country where as hard as you try you can’t relate and the roots of your own life never quite break into the soil. This movie begs the question, who are we if where we come from has been taken away from us?

Marjane is the young girl in question and Iran is the country. What did I know about Iran other than what reporters bark at me and what our own religious fundamentalists would like us to believe. Iran is a bad place, right? Where their idea of God is skewed, right? And everyone there is exactly the same in their beliefs, right? Isn’t that the same way of thinking that allows terrorists to attack our country? Aren’t we religious zealots to them? I’m sure our own government doesn’t mind that the general public views the rest of the world under a simplified light, it allows them to go to war whenever they feel like it. What Persepolis does is add perspective. And it does it through the eyes of that young woman Marjane.