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10:00 AM on 02.24.2015

Review: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Isao Takahata is one of the directors out of Studio Ghibli that seems to be less discussed by fans in the west.  Takahata is responsible for directing some of the most riveting and eerie films to come from the Japanese a...

John-Charles Holmes




Review: Shaun The Sheep photo
Review: Shaun The Sheep
by Jackson Tyler

It's hard to believe that Shaun The Sheep is only Aardman's fourth stop motion feature film. The studio initially made its name in the UK with short films in the 70s and 80s such as Creature Comforts, but it was with the release of the first Wallace and Gromit short in 1990 that they truly seared themselves into the fabric of British cultural identity. And in the 25 years since, they've embodied a kind of effortless ubiquity that easily overcomes their relatively sparse output. Aardman is the closest equivalent the UK has to Studio Ghibli, in many ways a remnant of times gone by, desperately carrying the torch for a style of animation that is beloved and resonant, whose flame should long since have flickered out.

Going in, the signs were not exactly pointing in the right direction. A spin-off of a spin-off, the movie is the big screen outing of the popular Kids TV show, for which the target audience skews far younger than Aardman’s earlier family efforts. Combined with a lackluster marketing push and the fact that the film hasn’t even been picked up for distribution in the USA, I went into the movie with a quiet apprehension that Aardman’s creative glory days had passed, and the studio was ready to go softly into that good night.

Much to my delight, I walked out of the cinema with a massive smile on my face and more than a single tear in my eye. The movie's target audience may skew young, but Shaun The Sheep is Aardman's most assured and most mature work yet.

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4:00 PM on 02.18.2015

Laika puppets and art sold in auction for up to $50k

This past month, Laika recently wrapped up a touring gallery of original art, posters, props, and puppets from their animated features.  You know, those last few critically acclaimed stop-motion films of the past few yea...

John-Charles Holmes



Review: The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water photo
Review: The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
by Nick Valdez

This may come as a surprise to you, but Spongebob Squarepants is still the juggernaut of a cartoon it was when it first debuted back in 1999. Never ceasing to keep kids' attention thanks to its unique characters and ever evolving comedy. Most importantly, it just has a lot of fun. 

I've been excited for Sponge Out of Water for some time. A sequel to a ten year old film, Water looked ambitious, full of crazy art styles, and once again had all of the fun that the series is known for. Good thing the film mostly lives up to that even if the humor has changed from what I remember. 

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8:00 AM on 02.03.2015

Super Bowl TV Spot for Minions

They're baaaaaaack! Or, rather, they're here, since Minions serves as a prequel. Arguably the best characters in the Despicable Me franchise finally have their own film, and I couldn't be more excited. In Minions, ...

Jonathan Wray

6:00 PM on 02.02.2015

Super Bowl TV Spot for Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water

I haven't been very silent about this, but I am actually mad hyped for The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The cartoon has been very good the past few years (and was even entertaining at inception, too), an...

Nick Valdez

3:00 PM on 01.26.2015

Dreamworks Animation cuts 500 jobs, reveals new release slate

Back when Dreamworks Animation needed to compete with Disney, they stopped making films in 2D (even if those films are some of the greats) and churned out ten Shreks to a very successful box office performance each time. Basi...

Nick Valdez



Megan's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Megan's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Megan Porch

2014 was a pretty great year for movies, so coming up with a year end list was pretty tough for me. Originally I thought I'd just do top 5, and then top 10... but no. It had to be top 15 because I saw so many awesome films last year, and it just wouldn't be fair to ignore the movies in the 11 through 15 slots. 

So let's get the ball rolling...

 

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1:00 PM on 01.20.2015

First trailer for DC's direct to video Batman vs. Robin

Ever since the animated Justice League specials committed to the New 52 continuity (after The Flashpoint Paradox), they haven't been very good. I don't know what's to blame for that either. Is it the comics themselves? Is it...

Nick Valdez



Review: Song of the Sea photo
Review: Song of the Sea
by Megan Porch

Anybody who knows me knows that seals are my favorite animal, so when I started seeing advertisements for Song of the Sea, I knew I had to check it out. Cartoon Saloon had already impressed me with its first feature film, Secret of Kells, so I had a feeling this movie would at least be on par with that one.

Song of the Sea stands out in a 3D obsessed animation industry as an entirely 2D, hand drawn film. It harkens back to older animated films, while still being fresh and unique, and its story is sure to pull on your heartstrings.

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Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014
by Nick Valdez

2014 was a pretty good year for animated films. But unlike the year before, which featured a huge Disney film with headlining women and lots of family friendly features, 2014 was a complete boy's club. While there were a few small steps here and there (women in these films were characterized a bit better and given more autonomy), it's nothing revolutionary. But despite the testosterone, animated films were pretty great last year (but I do hope for more varied voices in 2015). 

2014 treated animation with the respect it deserves. Cartoons aren't just for throwaway comedies (although some did try to squeeze through), and the five films here were the best examples of studios allowing animated films to explore different kinds of narrative opportunities. While the list won't feature some of the smaller releases (because they haven't released near me) like Song of the Sea and When Marnie Was There, I'm pretty confident that this list is set in my mind. 

Here are my choices for the Top Five Animated Films of 2014. 

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10:00 AM on 01.06.2015

Newest trailer for The Peanuts Movie gives us more Snoopy

You know how I wrote that list of the ten best trailers of 2014? Well, I've already found my favorite trailer of 2015. It may be mostly the same as last trailer we got for The Peanuts Movie, but shows off what great trailer ...

Nick Valdez

10:44 AM on 01.02.2015

Ninjai: The Little Ninja finally returns with film teaser

Remember Ninjai: The Little Ninja? No! Back in the early aughts the Ninjai Gang put out a series of animations that were pretty much the best flash stuff you could see online. Brutally violent and full of awesome action, it ...

Matthew Razak

1:00 PM on 12.30.2014

New image and logo from Pixar's The Good Dinosaur

For a Pixar film we've heard relatively little about The Good Dinosaur. That may be because it's run into so much trouble in production. It was delayed from a 2014 release to a November, 2015 release, but things seem to be ro...

Matthew Razak

12:00 PM on 12.11.2014

Full trailer for Disney/Pixar's Inside Out is adorable

I've been digging how Pixar has been marketing their upcoming animated project, Inside Out. This latest trailer, like the last, may not feature any of the story, but it's got enough substance to chew on. I will never kn...

Nick Valdez

1:07 PM on 12.10.2014

First trailer for The Little Prince floats in

It's only 2014, but judging from this international trailer for The Little Prince, we're already calling the year's best animated film. This is our first look at the adaptation of the childern's classic, and I suppose it's a...

Matthew Razak

2:00 PM on 12.01.2014

Frozen 2 is a thing in the works

Did you think Disney was just going to let the incredible success of Frozen sit there and... well continue to be successful thanks to toys, television and marketing? No, that's not how they play. Idinia Menzel says that ...

Matthew Razak

12:00 PM on 12.01.2014

The Peanuts Movie reveals the voice cast

Although I'm not a big fan of his work, Paul Feig seems to be approaching Peanuts in just the right way. With the right amount of respect you'd hope any rebooted property gets, The Peanuts Movie is full of unbelievably great ...

Nick Valdez



Flixgiving: Five Movies Megan is Thankful for photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Megan is Thankful for
by Megan Porch

Ah yes, Thanksgiving. Normally, during this holiday I'm at my parents' house and I get to eat all sorts of delicious things my mom makes (although I hated all of it when I was little and kept insisting when I was grown up I'd just order pizza). Now, I don't even like pizza and instead of eating turkey on Thursday, I'll be working.

Luckily, thanks to my dual monitor set up, I can watch movies while I'm working. I've always loved going to the theater with my friends and my family. Movies are a huge part of my life, and some of them really have shaped who I am. So for Flixgiving, I thought I'd share five movies that helped make me who I am, and inspire me creatively.

It's insanely hard to narrow it down to just five movies, but here goes...

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films our writers are thankful for.]

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4:00 PM on 11.25.2014

First trailer for animated Lucasfilm, Strange Magic

Now here's something that came out of absolutely nowhere. This must've been buried under all of that Star Wars after Disney acquired Lucasfilm, but apparently, Strange Magic is an animated film inspired by a story from Georg...

Nick Valdez



Flixgiving: Five Movies Liz Is Thankful For photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Liz Is Thankful For
by Liz Rugg

It's Flixgiving! The Flixist staff has gathered together around the cool glow of the TV to share movies that we're thankful for; ones that have impacted our lives, ones that we feel are important, and ones that we just love.

The movies I'm thankful for range everywhere from kid's classics to resonant conceptualization to the king of campiness. I'm sure these eclectic choices say something about me and my personality ... oh yeah, it says that I'm awesome. Read on to find out more about what movies I'm thankful for this Flixgiving.

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films our writers are thankful for.]

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3:00 PM on 11.18.2014

UPDATE: First character clip and posters for Inside Out

UPDATE: The posters for Joy, Anger, Disgust, and Fear have been added to the gallery. I don't know whose idea it was to cast Lewis Black as Anger, but give them a medal. Original story below!  Pixar's Inside Out is...

Matthew Razak