Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Annecy Announces 2017 Feature Film Line-Up

This year's Annecy International Animation Film Festival is fast approaching. This means that we can look forward to finding out more and more about all the exciting line-up of this year's festival. We've already seen this year's selection of shorts and commissioned films. Next up to be revealed is this year's animated feature line-up.

The selection comprises films screening both in and out of competition. Screening in competition is an interesting mix of features from around the world. The majority of the competing films come from China, Japan and Europe, with only one film from the US (Animal Crackers) in the running. A number of these films are already on animation fan's radars including Ethel and Ernest, Loving Vincent, In This Corner Of The World, Lu Over The Wall and A Silent Voice. 

The out-of-competition films feature an even wider variety nationalities and styles, While the films themselves may be mainly less familiar, they'll be worth keeping an eye on. Many films that premiere at the festival will be the films we'll all be talking about in the near future.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Now Streaming:'Kubo and The Two Strings', 'Tower', 'Pokemon XYZ' and more

Time once again for our regular update of the new animated content recently added on Netflix.  This month a couple of Netflix Original Dreamworks Series get new seasons, in the form of Dawn Of The Croods and The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show. A couple of major 2016 animated features arrived for US subscribers with Kubo and The Two Strings and The Secret Life Of Pets.  If you're after old-school thrills, the fondly remembered The Real Ghostbusters has also materialised.

For a radical change of pace though, the acclaimed documentary Tower (which recreates a real life tragedy through animation) is available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

Note: Some new additions may already be available in other regions, and includes renewals  All information correct to the best of our knowledge but subject to change.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Izetta: The Last Witch (2016)

Izetta: The Last Witch is a 2016 anime series set in an alternate version of Earth, set just before WWII by Ajia-do Animation Works. In it, a princess of a small country called Eylstadt, Princess Ortfine, works to protect her country with the help of a magical witch named Izetta, who Ortfine met when she was a young girl. 

In this universe, the countries of the world are similar but different to their real life counterparts, and the starter of the WWII conflict is a country called “Germania.” After taking over several of their neighbor countries, Germania is about to invade Eylstadt. Princess Ortfine is fleeing their forces by train, and in the midst of an impromptu fight with Germanian soldiers, stumbles upon a strange chamber keeping the witch, Izetta, captive under Germanian possession. Ortfine releases Izetta and they escape the train using Izetta's magic, as Izetta is the last descendant of a line of powerful witches that have inhabited the world for centuries. This review contains mild spoilers, so continue only if you wish.

Friday, April 21, 2017

'Rick and Morty' Comes To VR

Virtual Reality is hotly tipped to be the next major step forward in technology. The jury's still out over whether it will revolutionise gaming and film or turn out to be a flashy gimmick, but right now exciting things are definitely happening in the VR world. Animation is a major component of the experience, so it's only natural that animated properties would start to get animated tie-ins.

Rick and Morty already has a number of game spin-offs, including the Pokemon clone Pocket Mortys. Now, thanks to Adult Swim Games and Owlchemy Labs, fans have the chance to step inside the show's bizarre sci-fi universe in the VR experience Virtual Rick-ality. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

20th Century Boys (Manga review)

In 1969 a group of childhood friends build themselves a secret base within which they plan to spend their summer.  Their idea was to loaf-around reading manga, listen to the radio and enjoy their childhood.  To symbolise their friendship one of their group creates an image, a bit like a gang symbol.  As time passes and their friendship group expands they create a story within which the world is in peril and where this group of friends take a stand to save the world.  Towards the end of the 1990s as the 20th century comes to an end and when they have all grown up and taken on responsibilities, some of these stories seem more like prophecies.  They start to come to pass.  It is time for this set of childhood friends, Kenji, Maruo, Otcho, Yoshitsune and Yukiji to take back their symbol and save the world.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea (2016)

It's the first day of the new school year for the students of Tides High School. Dash Shaw (Jason Schwartzman), the over-eager writer of the school's newspaper, is excited about starting his sophomore year with a clean slate. Together with his longtime best friend/cowriter Assaf (Reggie Watts), and their soft-spoken editor Verti (Maya Rudolph), Dash places his bets that this will be a year to remember. But when it is discovered that their cliff side school is not built up to code, there is little that can be done when an earthquake sends the school plummeting into the sea below. With the entire student body thrown into chaos, Dash will have to rely on his sharp wit, mediocre physical prowess, and the bad-ass Lunch Lady Loraine (Susan Sarandon) to survive the many horrors of this inexplicable disaster. All of which include, shark infested waters, crazy jock cults, electrical pits of doom and (the most horrific) the growing romantic tension between Assaf and Verti. Will our intrepid hero live to write another day or will he be lost to the obscurity of the third wheel?

Or explode, or get eaten by a shark? Whichever sounds more exciting.

My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea is an independent, animated comedy film written and directed by acclaimed graphic novelist Dash Shaw. The film being Shaw's directorial debut in the world of feature animation. The film began traveling the festival circuit in 2016, appearing in both the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and many others. Garnering a good deal of critical praise. In early December of 2016, the film was picked up by GKIDS and currently going through a limited theater run for the rest of April 2017.

'The Red Turtle' Comes To The UK May 26

Michael Dudok de Wit and Studio Ghibli's Oscar-nominated animated feature The Red Turtle will finally arrive in cinemas in the UK on May 26. The film is one not to be missed for animation fans- not only is Ghibli's first international co-production, but it's also the first feature from acclaimed animation director Dudok de Wit.

Studio Canal will be distributing the film in the UK and Ireland, and ahead of the limited release next month, they have debuted a new poster (above) and a gorgeous new trailer.

Aside from the Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, the film also snagged a further 28 nominations around the world, winning 10- including a Jury prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival- a very rare achievement for an animated film.