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 The Animation Thread 
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So, I've been following the progress of a fansub project for the 1974 anime series Heidi, Girl of the Alps for a couple of years now, only to recently discover that another blog is already way ahead, with 13 episodes translated from the original Japanese as of last month. The show was immensely popular in Italy and in many other countries around the world, but for some reason was never properly released in English speaking territories. Hence, the lack of an English dub - though, one was apparently shown on Indian television at some point and the US did briefly release a feature length, straight to video version in 1980s. The show was directed by Isao Takahata, with character design by Yoichi Kotabe and scene design by Hayao Miyazaki.

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:44 pm
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That show is a staple of my childhood (watched it in spanish). I even had a vinyl record with the intro song and a few others.

Now that I think about it, the show was rather depressing.

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:26 pm
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But there really is no animated show more depressing than this one:



It's about a boy whose mom had to leave him. Then he lives with this nice old man, but then he dies, and all he has left is some dogs and a monkey. Then he tries to find his mom, and along the way all the dogs and the monkey die. And sometimes he has these crazy illusions that everyone is still alive, but then he wakes up. And it's not until the last episode that he finds his mom.

It's really good

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:30 pm
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I have no idea what's going on in here, but I just got my DVD of 5 Centimeters Per Second.

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Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:10 am
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Loose Seal wrote:
Now that I think about it, the show was rather depressing.

It was indeed!

But then, this is Isao Takahata of Grave of the Fireflies fame, so it shouldn't be too surprising.

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Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:02 am
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Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:44 am
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Can't wait to see the short. Been hearing great things about it.


Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:49 am
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Tangled has been available to stream on Netflix for as long as I've had the service. I've had it in my queue for that long. Just put off watching because I expected...well, disappointment.

I was not disappointed. This seems the closest to the Disney animated films of my childhood of any I've seen since The Lion King.

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Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:12 pm
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Gort wrote:
Tangled has been available to stream on Netflix for as long as I've had the service. I've had it in my queue for that long. Just put off watching because I expected...well, disappointment.

I was not disappointed. This seems the closest to the Disney animated films of my childhood of any I've seen since The Lion King.

I've been meaning to check that one out myself.

Too dark for a four-year-old, though?

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Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:22 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Too dark for a four-year-old, though?
That would depend on the 4-year old, of course. I'd say it is not as dark as Snow White. The wicked step-mother in Snow White scared the bejeebus out of my first son when he was almost four. Tangled sports nothing that overtly evil. The kidnapper is evil, but not in a frightening way...possibly in a way that 4-year olds wouldn't understand.

You know your little one best. Hope that helps.

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:07 pm
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I just watched the first two episodes of Season 5 of Futurama. Both were pretty good, and I'm glad the show is back. Thank God for Netflix.

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:29 pm
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This may have been mentioned already, but Hisaishi really outdid himself on Ponyo.


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Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:52 am
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Thu May 24, 2012 1:08 am
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I finally got around to watching The End of Evangelion yesterday and goddamn I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to watch it. Was absolutely glorious.

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Thu May 24, 2012 5:39 am
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MadMan wrote:
I just watched the first two episodes of Season 5 of Futurama. Both were pretty good, and I'm glad the show is back. Thank God for Netflix.


I'm curretly re-obsessed with Futurama. Been marathoning it for a week on Netflix.


Tue May 29, 2012 9:46 am
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2 new anime series seem to have to made quite the splash in a lot of places lately, so I thought I'd check them out, those series being Tari Tari and Kokoro Connect, neither are too far in, Tari Tari just half-way through its season, not sure on Kokoro Connect, they seem to be segmenting that series into major arcs, the first of which just wrapped up.

The former is simply a slice of life series, the things that seem to make it stand out so far is that the pacing is generally quite patient, something I agree with. There's one or two things that come as a shock, dealing with more 'real' issues than most of its ilk. The music is also rather excellent, it's not 'great' yet for me, but it's highly enjoyable, and the pace of the series does a lot to build the characters away from tropes, and lends itself to some good character moments that feel deserved, not inauthentic.

The latter has some body-swapping weirdness - and is a bit more serious - which is kind of its pitfall in some ways, as the series tends to work best when it's simply allowing characters to riff off each other, and it's just full of stuff, I don't really feel like the characters are developed enough to really justify some of the series' more dramatic material. It's already moving away from the body swapping stuff into uh, desires uninhibited, which can either lead to incredibly uncomfortable, awkward serious town or some really good physical comedy, likely a bit of both. It's good, but a mixed bag, good enough to keep watching so far though. It's based off of some light novels, which I think I'll give a try.


Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:51 am
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Those sound good. Will have to check them out.


Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:59 am
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roujin wrote:
Those sound good. Will have to check them out.

Although I have to wonder, why does every slice of life series have to take place in high school? What's so magical about high school in Japan?

Really, only Genshiken and Welcome to the NHK come to mind for series in that genre that actually have characters that are out of high school.


Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:07 am
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This is my #1 complaint about most of these shows. The high school rituals have been completely done to death by every series (the school festival, rooftops, etc.), that I actively seek out shows that take place outside of school.

Good shows that take place during college: Honey and Clover, The Tatami Galaxy and Maison Ikkoku. All are highly recommended, though wildly different.


Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:25 am
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roujin wrote:
This is my #1 complaint about most of these shows. The high school rituals have been completely done to death by every series (the school festival, rooftops, etc.), that I actively seek out shows that take place outside of school.

Good shows that take place during college: Honey and Clover, The Tatami Galaxy and Maison Ikkoku. All are highly recommended, though wildly different.

The thing that's working about Tari Tari and Kokoro Connect heavily in their favor is that really thus far, the school's only been really used as a meeting place/way to frame conflicts between characters that normally wouldn't interact so far. Most of the shows have taken place outside of the school, or had not too much to do with the school at all so far. Tari Tari less so, but it's kept away from the overdone stuff, or made that stuff quite brief so far.

Ah, yeah, Honey and Clover was one I've been putting off forever. I haven't really looked into the others, but that alone sounds promising.


Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:33 am
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Is every episode of Tatami Galaxy that visually audacious and incredibly inventive? Because that was astonishing, and not what my expectation of it was at all. The characters seem great as well, vividly drawn personalities in their designs alone.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:41 pm
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Masaaki Yuasa, the director of the TV show, is the anime director for me. His masterpiece remains Mind Game for me, but his TV work (specially Tatami) is up to it.

I think the rest of the show remains that audacious and inventive.


Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:31 pm
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Ah, he's behind Mind Game, makes sense.

I admire the quick wit of the series, both visually and aurally it's a constant flow of new information and ideas.


Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:51 am
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Lol, when I was 18 I worked for my district council and was commissioned to make a "50 best anime films of all time" list for our district library's website (to appeal to the kidz y'now). Hardly knew anything about anime so just lurked every forum I could find to observe a consensus.

Can't find the link at the moment (the project was abandoned after my fixed term expired despite the layout being made etc - its online but not linked to the main library site) but here's the list:

Also-rans: "Appleseed", "Arcadia of My Youth", "Blood: The Last Vampire, "The Castle of Cagliostro", "The Cat Returns", "Catnapped!", "The Dagger of Kamui", "Dead Leaves", "Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance", "Farewell Space Battleship Yamato", "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence", "Golgo 13: The Professional", "Jungle Emperor Leo", "Kite", "My Neighbours the Yamadas", "Neo Tokyo", "Patlabor: The Movie", "The Sky Crawlers", "Steamboy", "Sword of the Stranger", "Tales from Earthsea", "Taro the Dragon Boy", "A Tree of Palme", "Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust", "Winter Days", "X"

50. "Junkers Come Here"
49. "Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors"
48. "Ocean Waves"
47. "Spring and Chaos"
46. "Tekkonkinkreet"
45. "Midori"
44. "Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone"
43. "Tokyo Godfathers"
42. "The Little Norse Prince"
41. "Stormy Night"
40. "Summer Wars"
39. "Howl's Moving Castle"
38. "Ninja Scroll"
37. "Robot Carnival"
36. "Chie the Brat"
35. "Castle in the Sky"
34. "Memories"
33. "Vampire Hunter D"
32. "Mind Game"
31. "Ponyo"
30. "Perfect Blue"
29. "Kiki's Delivery Service"
28. "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie"
27. "Akira"
26. "Porco Rosso"
25. "Patlabor 2: The Movie"
24. "Galaxy Express 999"
23. "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"
22. "Barefoot Gen"
21. "Roujin Z"
20. "Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade"
19. "Paprika"
18. "Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise"
17. "The Tale of the White Serpent"
16. "Angel's Egg"
15. "Gauche the Cellist"
14. "The Place Promised in Our Early Days"
13. "Spirited Away"
12. "Night on the Galactic Railroad"
11. "Metropolis"
10. "5 Centimetres per Second"
9. "Ghost in the Shell"
8. "Princess Mononoke"
7. "Only Yesterday"
6. "My Neighbour Totoro"
5. "The End of Evangelion"
4. "Millennium Actress"
3. "Whisper of the Heart"
2. "Grave of the Fireflies"
1. "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind"

Edit: Here's the link, excuse the poor writing but I was 18.

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Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:53 am
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That seems pretty solid, consider you didn't know that much - although I really doubt Angel's Egg is more popular than Golgo 13 or the original Patlabor, or really most of the runner-ups. It does have very vocal fans though, I guess (I'd count myself among them, put it on a best of the 80's list a while back.)


Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:08 am
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So, I'm 3 episodes away from being done with Tatami Galaxy - it's brilliant stuff, formally, it's like the anime equivalent to Shuji Terayama - that comparison is far from perfect, but it's the closest analogue I can think of - colors signifying emotional currents, heightened to logical extremes, the plethora of techniques is also really special, filtered photos, cut-outs, it's visually, definitely the most experimental series I've seen in a long time - but it's at the same time, incredibly cohesive in its aesthetic, every element, as strange, as overtly surreal as they may be, fits within the series logic. I like how it frames the story, a variation on similar themes and ideas, but also could be percieved as simply fragmented memories being told back with flourish, colored by emotion.

Edit - finished now, heh, the 10th episode makes a direct reference to Terayama.

Damn good stuff.

Roujin, about Maison Ikkoku, the series, is big (96 episodes!), and on top of that, the animation is older, which is something I do struggle with in the older shows at times, so, I'm curious if reading one of the various printed versions would give me a proper feel for if I'll like it or not, and how does the animation hold up?


Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:04 pm
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I think the Maison Ikkoku animation is serviceable, nothing more nothing less. Rumiko Takahashi was responsible for stuff like Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura so the art style and character designs are pretty much the same as those. There's lots of hijinks from crazy neighbors and lots of getting drunk and hilarity, but what strikes me as the best about the series is the way that it introduces gradual changes in the main characters. Compared to the protagonists of shows made today, the main character is incredibly well-realized, and although he's a doofus and a pervert, he actually has goals and exhibits growth.

It ultimately ends up being a hugely moving show. It's one of my favorites.

As far as I know, the manga's pretty much the same thing. Same story, same humor. I'd recommend reading a few chapters to know if it's something you'd like (or just watching the first few episodes, which is what I usually do).


Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:40 am
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Das wrote:
Although I have to wonder, why does every slice of life series have to take place in high school? What's so magical about high school in Japan?

I just now found this, and it's something that I came to think I understand in terms of story-telling, as I was watching my sons be teenagers.

So I'll give it a stab.

Stories require surprise and emotion in order to work, for the most part. This may be related to the fact that we remember things that are associated with strong emotion longer and more accurately than we remember things that we experience without emotion. We can learn without emotion, but it is more difficult. Storytellers want to engage us. Thus, they seek to inject emotion into their stories. When I create stories I find myself doing this without doing it on purpose...so I think it may be related to something basic about the human brain.

Okay, enough background.

When you're in high school (if you are average, I guess) you are in the last stage of your life where it is still possible to wake up on just about any day and do something that you've never done before. It is possible to do so when you are a 20 or 30 or 40-something, but it is more difficult (and, thus expensive), simply because you have done so many different things by that age. Try to remember what was still mysterious and sexy to you when you were 15 and see if those things are all still as mysterious...or sexy.

But someone 14-18 years old still has experiences that are unknown to them, that most college-age persons have already had. So everything about life is amped for the high schooler. Thus, they make especially good characters. It is easy to find passionate high schoolers, to a greater extent than it is to find passionate college students. This isn't to insinuate that passion doesn't exist in college, but it's a different sort of passion, possibly aimed more toward career than merely aimed at life in general.

In other words, the series you're bemoaning and god-knows how many movies are aimed at this age-range not because they will be the audience, but because they represent a sort of generally interesting and emotional time of life. This leads to over-use, overexposure and audience ennui, I guess.

Maybe all wrong, maybe not explained well, but that's my existential analysis of why so many entertainments focus on that age group, and not just Japanese animated series!

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:16 am
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It makes sense within the context of purely looking at how to tell a story, however, it's such a saturated method, the surprise is often so meaningless.

I'll break this down into a scenario.

The boy and the girl meet through a somewhat awkward circumstance in school, they share a class, beyond that the male character doesn't want anything to do with the female character, despite admitting that externally, he finds that character attractive. Through chance or circumstance, they end up in the same social circles or situations frequently, more and more they can't ignore each other's feelings, despite this the male character can't bring himself to initiate a deeper relationship, he might date another character for a short time, or hone in on another female character within that group, it doesn't end well, or can't continue for a reason arbitrary or meaningful, the two come together, the relationship and feelings only strengthened for each other through the hardships and misunderstandings, they accept each other. The series ends.

You can give or take a few of those details, and you've got uh, about half of the framing for most romances within the 'high school life' series. That's the basic gist, it's tired, and predictable, there's a ton of stuff like this within the genre as well.

That in mind, one has to question whether it's a matter of laziness and convenience to fall back on when the series runs out of ideas? Or is it simply there's a belief that it's just the most potent ground to tell that kind of story?


Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:36 am
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Das wrote:
It makes sense within the context of purely looking at how to tell a story, however, it's such a saturated method, the surprise is often so meaningless.

I'll break this down into a scenario.

The boy and the girl meet through a somewhat awkward circumstance in school, they share a class, beyond that the male character doesn't want anything to do with the female character, despite admitting that externally, he finds that character attractive. Through chance or circumstance, they end up in the same social circles or situations frequently, more and more they can't ignore each other's feelings, despite this the male character can't bring himself to initiate a deeper relationship, he might date another character for a short time, or hone in on another female character within that group, it doesn't end well, or can't continue for a reason arbitrary or meaningful, the two come together, the relationship and feelings only strengthened for each other through the hardships and misunderstandings, they accept each other. The series ends.

You can give or take a few of those details, and you've got uh, about half of the framing for most romances within the 'high school life' series. That's the basic gist, it's tired, and predictable, there's a ton of stuff like this within the genre as well.

That in mind, one has to question whether it's a matter of laziness and convenience to fall back on when the series runs out of ideas? Or is it simply there's a belief that it's just the most potent ground to tell that kind of story?

The story you tell sounds like one couched in the female view! Perhaps that's the big audience for such series in Japan?

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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:04 pm
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i think i may have seen this show


Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:51 pm
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Gort wrote:

The story you tell sounds like one couched in the female view! Perhaps that's the big audience for such series in Japan?

More commonly the male perspective actually. Usually the female perspective deals more with the male character ignoring her existence for 75% of the time.

Quote:
i think i may have seen this show

Remember the part where one of the character confesses and the other character is like 'nah' but then it becomes so weird a few episodes later they just hook up anyways? Like, surprisebike.


Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:37 am
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Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:52 am
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Dreamworks Animation is going to FOX
http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=93762

So, that's that. I bet the Blue Sky people are not happy

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Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:49 am
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I didn't mention it earlier (it slipped my mind), but another very strong post-high school series is Nodame Cantabile. The drama is also worth watching.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:57 pm
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The opening sequence to Honey and clover is delightfully bizarre (Shrimp hand! Steak couple!).

Edit - rest of the episode was for lack of a better word, fun. The characters seem all immediately well established, and the style can swing between a normal moment to something insanely exaggerated to something with more punch behind it in an instant. Good first impression, show already seems very multifaceted and enjoyable.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:43 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
video


framing!

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:04 am
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The Aritocats, The Rescuers, The Rescuers Down Under, and Pocahontas (w/ Pocahontas 2 :rotten: ) came out on Blu-ray today. I got them all (Pocahontas only for the sake of completion) and sampled a couple of scenes and The Aristicats and The Rescuers look outstanding. Great restorations, particularly the former. Rescuers DU looks really good, but it could have been much better if they had done a digital-to-digital transfer since it was their first fully-digital film, but it looks as if they scanned a film print. The digital files could be lost, though. I haven't seen any of Pocahontas yet.

I plan to get all the Disney cannon on Blu, even the ones I hate. From the ones that have already been released I'm only missing Chicken Little, Home on the Range, Treasure Planet, Bolt, Alice in Wonderland, and The Fox & the Hound. The Great Mouse Detective is coming out in September, Cinderella in October (!), and supposedly Brother Bear and Atlantis are also coming out this year. And next year, given international release dates, we can expect Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan, Tarzan (already out in Europe), The Many Adventure of Winnie the Pooh, Hercules, and Aladdin. And Wreck-it Ralph, but that's a given.

EDIT: Sampled a few scenes of Pocahontas and it looks incredible. HD enhances the film's best aspect so much (the animation) that you can forget how bad the film is. At least until you hear Mel Gibson's lazy performance.

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:45 am
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Roujin, 7 episodes in, you're 2 for 3 so far. I'll be biting the bullet and getting 26 gigs of Maison Ikkoku.


Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:58 pm
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Would I like any of these?

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:59 pm
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Fist wrote:
Would I like any of these?

I think you'd enjoy Tatami Galaxy immensely, visually creative, formally adventurous stuff.

Honey and Clover I don't know, it's got the kind of nuance you'd want out of the kind of series it is - but it's also very energetic, give it a try, I've found it to be charming so far. You'll know whether you like it or not by the end of the first episode, as it sets the tone for the series very well.


Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:02 pm
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Will check them both out, for sure.

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In a word, I think that, far from favoring directors’ formal inventiveness, widescreen, instead, stifles it. It is, I’m more and more persuaded, if not the only, at least the main culprit for the expressive poverty of the image today. - Eric Rohmer
Vimeo / / / Flickr


Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:02 pm
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OMG I STILL HAVEN'T FINISHED KIDS ON THE SLOPE OMGOHMYGOD

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In a word, I think that, far from favoring directors’ formal inventiveness, widescreen, instead, stifles it. It is, I’m more and more persuaded, if not the only, at least the main culprit for the expressive poverty of the image today. - Eric Rohmer
Vimeo / / / Flickr


Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:03 pm
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Fist wrote:

framing!

Yeah.

It reminded me of The Illusionist, though perhaps that's just the music/lack of dialogue.

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:36 pm
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Loose Seal wrote:
Chicken Little

The only movie that has ever made me throw up from sheer boredom.

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Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:27 am
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I had the pleasure of seeing the new film from the director of Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and here's some thoughts on it:

http://www.soundonsight.org/bfi-london- ... ender-gem/


Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:04 am
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You're one of the most consistent writers we have here, Spengo :oops:

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Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:08 am
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I blame my laptop having a keyboard.


Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:12 am
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Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:38 am
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http://www.cartoonbrew.com/disney/break ... 81043.html


Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:19 am
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