Fantastic Mr. Fox

I first saw the trailer for the Fantastic Mr. Fox in the theater in 2009. I fell in love with the look and feel of the animation, but when the movie actually released I was in the midst of preparing to move across the country. The story of Mr. Fox fell off my personal radar until it released on HBO this past fall. I stumbled upon it one afternoon and absolutely adored it. The stop-motion animation is beautifully done, and the story is fantastic. It’s appropriate for children, but there are enough adult jokes to appeal to all ages. If you haven’t seen it you should definitely check it out.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but until I watched Fantastic Mr. Fox I’d never heard of Roald Dahl. I mean, I’m sure I probably saw his name somewhere in the credits for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or Matilda, but it never registered. Now that I know who this amazing author is, I just might have to read everything he’s ever written. In addition to a number of classic children’s books, he’s written short stories for adults, some of which were filmed for Alfred Hitchcock Presents (I’m also a Hitchcock fan). He also has a pretty interesting history, and was a Flying Ace for the Royal Air Force during WWII.

For more info on Roald Dahl and Fantastic Mr. Fox, check out this wikipedia article, and these Making Of shorts about the movie. The one I’ve embedded after the jump includes a visit to Dahl’s house and talks about how director Wes Anderson actually duplicated Dahl’s furniture in miniature for the film. There is also a “Making Of” book that looks really cool too.

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TRON: Legacy

I’m loving the look of the new Tron movie, Tron Legacy. The new film builds on the original and tells the story of Kevin Flynn’s son, who goes in search of his father 20 years after his disappearance. Here’s the official synopsis from Walt Disney Pictures via IMDB:

Sam Flynn (Hedlund), a rebellious 27-year-old, is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his father Kevin Flynn (Bridges), a man once known as the world’s leading video-game developer. When Sam investigates a strange signal sent from the old Flynn’s Arcade — a signal that could only come from his father– he finds himself pulled into a digital world where Kevin has been trapped for 20 years. With the help of the fearless warrior Quorra (Wilde), father and son embark on a life-or-death journey across a cyber universe — a universe created by Kevin himself that has become far more advanced with vehicles, weapons, landscapes and a ruthless villain who will stop at nothing to prevent their escape.

Tron Legacy is being released in 3D, and with as amazing as the graphics look in 2D, I can’t wait to see them in 3D IMAX. I’ve attached another video below that really showcases the CGI.

The last time I saw the original Tron I was really young (I was 6 when it came out in theaters!), so I’m really hoping to be able to watch it again before Tron Legacy hits theaters in December. I’ve looked quite a bit online, and it seems that only the 20th anniversary collector’s edition is available for purchase, for $35.95. I’d been hoping to find it available streaming from Amazon (because I want it NOW!), but no luck. However, as it’s Walt Disney Pictures, I’m thinking we may see a new release of the original in the coming months as a lead in for the new film.

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The Artwork of Camilla d'Errico

Camilla d’Errico is an artist from British Columbia whose work I’ve been following for a while now. She is a painter and comic book illustrator, and her work can be seen in comics such as Tanpopo, Sky Pirates of New Terra and Burn. Her paintings can been seen at one of her gallery shows, including her solo show, “Il Codice d’Errico”, which opens tomorrow at the Mondo Bizarro Gallery in Rome, Italy.

I first saw Camilla’s work at the Emerald City Comicon and was drawn in by the beauty of her paintings of wide-eyed young girls. The images evoke an innocence that often belies the actual content of the illustrations, giving them a complexity that might be missed on first glance. I got a chance to meet Camilla briefly and she was very friendly and down-to-earth. I was a little star struck but she put me at ease right away, and I’m now the proud owner of an autographed print of “Iguana.”

To see more of Camilla’s work or to purchase prints, comics, clothing or accessories, check out her website and store at camilladerrico.com. Here are a few of my favorites:

Vincent Laforet: The Cabbie

Vincent Laforet created this video with a Canon 7D as the first chapter in a series for the Canon video contest “The Story Beyond the Still.” Laforet was given a still image to interpret, and this video is his interpretation of that image.  The video ends with another still, which contestants for the second chapter had to then interpret and build upon.  The result is a story told by multiple filmmakers, each with their own style of cinematography, dialogue and film making.  Each chapter has different actors, but the actors look enough alike that it’s easy to tell which character is which.

The contest will have a total of six chapters, and with four of the chapters now completed I’m curious to see if the contestants will ultimately be able to tie the story together in a neat package, or if we’ll end up with an ending that does not do justice to Laforet’s alluring beginning.  With an impressive list of filmmakers on the judges’ panel, my hope is that they’ll be able to find an ending that will satisfy the viewers in both its storytelling and its cinematography.  The completed chapters are available here on Vimeo, along with the contest details.  Chapter 5 entries are due by June 10, but there’s still lots of time to complete an entry for the final chapter.

Mathias Malzieu: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

This is the book trailer for The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu. I’ve seen links to book trailers before, and never thought much about them. I prefer to read the inside flap or reviews from other readers to decide if I want to read a book, and I don’t want to have preconceived images of the characters in my mind. This trailer caught my eye as it’s done completely in stop-motion, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

The song in the video, “Tais-toi mon coeur”, is performed by Mathias Malzieu’s own band, Dionysos, and also features French singer Olivia Ruiz. Malzieu is also working on an animated feature film of the book. I’m hoping he’ll go the stop-motion route for that too. If the trailer is any indication, it will be a film worth seeing. In the meantime, though, I’ll be picking up a copy of the book.

There is a version of the trailer with subtitles available also, but the images are not as crisp. You can find it here.