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    ‘Despicable Me’ spin-off ‘Minions’ gets a teaser

    When discussing the Minions of the Despicable Me franchise, I’m reminded of how Pinhead described the Cenobites in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser: “Demons to some, angels to others.” While Steve Carell’s Gru was the initial selling point of the series, his Rabbids-like henchmen quickly became the stars, despite the polarising effect of annoying the hell out of […] More

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    LFF 2014: ‘The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow’ is a silly and sweet animation

    An orbiting satellite picks up a beautiful song being played on Earth. Moved by the song, and facing an eternity of lonely obsolescence thanks to the incoming fate of being replaced by new machinery, the satellite decides it wishes to find the source of the tune, and so crashes down to the planet below, where it promptly turns into a teenage girl able to fly with Astro Boy-like rocket feet and fire her arms as weapons. Meanwhile, the songwriter behind the ditty is broken-hearted and so has been turned into a cow, akin to the farmyard beast fate that has befallen other broken-hearted folk. This has led to him and others like him being hunted by a human villain who uses a plunger to extract their organs, as well an incinerator machine that is fuelled by the broken-hearted. Also, there is a wizard named Merlin who makes it his mission to assist the satellite girl and the cow, except Merlin has undergone his own transformation recently and happens to be a roll of toilet paper. More

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    LFF 2014: Anime ‘Giovanni’s Island’ is a great wartime drama

    In its frequently sorrowful tale of young Japanese siblings struggling through the tail end or immediate aftermath of World War II, anime Giovanni’s Island faces seemingly inevitable comparisons to both Grave of the Fireflies and the Barefoot Gen features. Mizuho Nishikubo’s film, however, has a spirit all of its own, even if you can trace in it bits of those other films’ DNA, as well as notorious British anti-war animation When the Wind Blows, whose art style it resembles more than the likes of Studio Ghibli. It stands apart in offering a look at an aspect of Japanese history rarely explored in any art form to date, that of the Russian occupation of the island of Shitokan after Japan’s defeat in 1945, as seen through the eyes of two Japanese children among the residents whose lives are upended by the new rule. More

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    NYCC Field Report: Star Wars Rebels

    The panel started with footage from the show. The Ghost’s shuttle flies through a canyon, dodging fire from a TIE Fighter. The pilot, Hera, deftly maneuvers to destroy the enemy fighter. Ezra, the newest addition to the crew, is not impressed with her skills and feels he could do a better. However, when three TIE […] More

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    NYCC: Return of the Giant Robots

    The Sunrise panel at New York comic con had a lot of announcements. At the start of the hour long panel the structure was revealed as beginning with everything except Gundam, and then transitioning to Gundam announcements. For the “Not-Gundam” section, Sunrise did it’s best to promote upcoming titles. Trailers were shown for Valvre the […] More

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    Living Pictures on the Small Screen #1

    Welcome to the first installment of “Living Pictures on the Small Screen,” a weekly column dedicated to animated programming on television. Cultural commentary inevitably comes with bias, and I wanted to create this column in appreciation of the people and shows that helped me overcome my own bias regarding animation. More

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    TIFF 2014: ‘Luna’ is a dark and surreal exploration of grief

    While Mirrormask has become something of a cult movie, Dave McKean is still better known for his work in illustration than his directorial efforts in film. McKean’s groundbreaking style consistently raised the bar in comic art; his contribution to the 1989 release of Arkham Asylum, written by Grant Morrison, helped change our understanding of the artform. McKean’s style seemed uniquely suited to the mind space of an asylum, his layered mixed media style reflective of thoughts and emotions in conflict. Perhaps his best known work is his contributions to the cover art for Neil Gaiman’s iconic Sandman series, once again cementing the phantasmagoric quality of McKean’s work. His collaboration with Gaiman highlighted the obscured landscape of nightmares which he frightfully recreated through superimposition, collage and drawing. More

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    Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 144: ‘Teacher’s Pet’

    Welcome, everyone, to a very important podcast-cum-intervention, wherein Josh finally gets Gabe to open up about why exactly he hates dogs. Sure, this episode is ostensibly about the 2004 Disney film Teacher’s Pet, but it’s all just a ruse to get Gabe to reveal his past childhood traumas. It turns out that neither Josh nor […] More

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    Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 143: ‘Robin Hood’

    A fine oo-de-lally to you, friends, as Robin Hood and Little John would say. Yes, those two scoundrels and some of their friends are at the center of this week’s new Mousterpiece Cinema, which is all about the 1973 Disney animated film Robin Hood. Josh, in the past, hasn’t made any bones about the fact […] More

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    Mousterpiece Cinema, Episode 138: ‘Mulan’

    It’s Mousterpiece Cinema’s 138th episode spectacular! Get ready for guest stars galore, clips, and surprises! …OK, fine, we’re not going to ape the style of that great clip show from The Simpsons, but it is our 138th episode anyway. This week, Josh and Gabe take a trip back in time to dynastic China to discuss […] More

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