valart's avatar


Location: Vancouver
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About me:

I'm old enough to remember when Saturday morning meant 6 1/2 straight hours of animation. You kids get offa my lawn!


Cooking, eating, making art, having an opinion.

Animation that I love:

WALL-E, Lion King, Emperor's New Groove, The Flintstones, Schoolhouse Rock

Latest Animation Reviews

animated movie Chicken Run © Aardman
Chicken Run
Rated it: 4
posted: Jul 15, 2004
This film has some of the best voice-over work I've ever heard. Unlike a lot of animation that seems to revolve around stunt-casting for voices, "Chicken Run" features some seldom-heard (in North America anyway) UK actors giving it their all for the flock. Miranda Richardson's Mrs Tweedy has a voice that could freeze oceans. Babs and Bunty could have their own spin-off of short films. And Mac the Scottish hen will make you believe in the power of "thrrrrrroooossst!"
animated movie The Triplets of Belleville © Les Armateurs
The Triplets of Belleville
Rated it: 3.5
posted: Jul 15, 2004
"Triplets" is a great film that integrates 2D and computer animation with tremendous flair. The song will stick in your head for days! And it was wonderful to see an animated film that doesn't depict elderly women as passive aunties or evil hags. These ladies kick butt in their own sweet way. There's a satirical edge to this movie that may well go right over the heads of little kids. To that end, adults may want to explain to kids why there's a topless dancer seen in the opening sequence (a caricature of Josephine Baker). Older kids and teens who may think they've outgrown cartoons will love this, though.

I saw this movie on DVD and the English subtitles are pretty useless. You get subtitles of on-screen sounds (like the subtitling for the hearing-impaired) and of a couple of lines of French dialogue. Some other lines are left untranslated for no obvious reason. But since there's so little dialogue this isn't a big issue.

"Triplets" has great character design, breathtaking scenery, bouncy music, and, at it's heart, two stories of familial devotion (between the triplets and also between the grandmother and her cyclist grandson). Worth seeing!

holiday animation A Charlie Brown Christmas © Bill Melendez Productions
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Rated it: 4
posted: Oct 17, 2003
The word "classic" is usually flung at any TV show that predates 1975 television history just isn't that long. "A Charlie Brown Christmas", however, earns the label.

Truly classic art changes our view of its subject. "Charlie Brown" is the rare show that takes children's humanity and spirituality seriously. Compare it to contemporary shows featuring kids, usually presented as well-groomed, slow-witted props needing adult guidance at every step. Comparatively, Charlie's heartbreaking compassion, Linus' uncomplicated faith, and Lucy's shallow but joyful embrace of materialism are all presented without condescension.

The show lacks the technical whiz-bang of great animation really, it would work just as well as a radio play (Vince Guaraldi's funky, sparkling jazz score is great listening). But the show's visual simplicity matches the hip modernism popular in the early 60's and the comic strip's format (note how so much of the action scrolls left-to-right-to-left, just like a horizontal strip).

Who hasn't go-go danced along with the Xmas pageant kids? Who didn't yearn to play "Linus and Lucy" at a piano recital? Who hasn't lit up inside when Charlie's tree is transformed? Watch it. It's a classic.