<– Uncle Walt-a-thon: Snow White
So, after a brief delay the Uncle Walt-a-thon continues, this time with Pinocchio. Like Snow White, it’s a technically impressive film with the art, animation, and music. The character art, in particular, improved noticeably. In the older film, characters sometimes stood out against the background due to a simpler colour palette and less texture, like they were obviously animated separately from the environment they were in. Here, that wasn’t a problem at all.
I mentioned last time that Snow White is almost an animation showcase, but Pinocchio is much more story-oriented. It ain’t Les Miserables, obviously, but a lot actually does happen in this film, along with legitimate character growth, which makes it more interesting and satisfying than Snow White. I will say, though, that the Stromboli and Pleasure Island segments are a lot creepier to me now that I’m old enough to know what “human trafficking” is.
Another thing that didn’t occur to me as a child is that Jiminy Cricket is totally useless through the whole movie. I’m pretty sure the only reason he got to be Pinocchio’s conscience to begin with was that the fairy found him amusing, and decided to humour him.
Finally, something I did notice as a child is that they use the word “jackass,” which is pretty cool for a kids’ movie, but it helps drive home the main point, namely, a boy who isn’t good may as well be made out of wood, and if you really act like a jackass – you might just turn into one!
Uncle Walt-a-thon: Dumbo –>…
While I was still at university, I bought the second season of Rozen Maiden, based on the comic series by Peach-Pit, called Rozen Maiden Träumend. I liked the comic, and figured I would find the first season at some point. I did find that first season four years later, when Netflix finally got it back in stock, so I recently got to make use of my ancient purchase.
I’ll start with just a few words about the first season, because S1 was a simply mediocre affair. The premise is that a middle-school boy, Jun, who stopped going to school some time previous due to an unspecified traumatic incident, comes across a magic doll, Shinku. She’s one of seven “Rozen Maidens,” destined by their creator to battle each other in something called the “Alice Game” to become Alice. Over the course of the series we meet Shinku’s sisters, though most aren’t actually keen on fighting and are content to more or less goof off at Jun’s house. So, we have two parallel story lines, the Alice Game on one hand, and Jun’s internal conflict on the other. It’s an interesting setup, but unfortunately the first season falls short of the mark.…
This past weekend, I started an Uncle Walt-a-thon. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be watching every major animated Walt Disney film. First up was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Overall, it was quite good, primarily as an animation showpiece. The background art was done with a soft colour palette, similar to water colours, which gives it a childlike, storybook feel. It reminds me somewhat of last year’s Wandering Son. There’s also a nice variety in the settings; the evil queen’s castle, the dark part of the forest, the dwarves’ cottage, and the mine all have their own colour schemes and very different atmospheres. The character animation was very fluid – this show has almost constant movement, which modern animation often lacks (granted, this applies mostly to TV shows).
The plot can be explained in its entirety in under two minutes, but plot seems to be mostly beside the point. The ending, for example, is nothing more than the prince, who doesn’t even have a name, just showing up, kissing Snow White to bring her back to life, and the two of them riding off. Instead, we mostly just get a sequence of individual scenes, usually with music and singing. It’s all well directed, the songs are catchy, and the simple humour makes it a “family film” in the best sense of the phrase.
On a side note, I’d like to say that Grumpy is the best dwarf, by far. Mainly because he’s the only one to ask the obvious questions, like “Who is this girl to boss us around in our own house? What’s she doing here in the first place? Isn’t it kinda risky to hide someone a powerful witch desperately wants to kill?”
Uncle Walt-a-thon: Pinocchio ->…
<– Previous: Anime Autobiography – Endless Delinquency and Despair
In 2010, my university career ended with a whimper, and I entered the “real world.” Actually, I just continued at the job I already had and spent most of the next year or so wondering what to do for a career. It was a somewhat depressing time, in a way, but hey – I still had my Japanese cartoons.
Now, at this point I’d seen enough that fewer and fewer shows offered really new experiences for me. Most of the shows I saw in 2010-11 stood out because they excelled at something that I’d already seen elsewhere. I also find it difficult to say much about some of these shows because they’re so recent that I can’t quite contextualise them yet. After reflecting on how to go about sharing my experience from these years, it occurred to me that the most significant event is probably a shift in how I watched anime. So here we go – how I watch anime in a modern fashion.…