Japan made this early war propaganda cartoon featuring an invasion led by an evil Mickey Mouse. Most endearing. Probably still warming the hearts of children everywhere.
Paperman is Disney's Oscar-nominated short animation for this year. Apparently animated with 3D software mimicking the hand-drawn look, it tells the story of an office worker trying to catch the attention of a woman by tossing paper airplanes from one New York skyscraper to another. The film is an example of that way Disney has always had of lending extreme curvature to all form and motion. Disney never moves things across a screen. They sweep them across. I enjoy hand-drawn styles even when they are not hand-drawn at all! Somehow it defeats the plastic look of so much computer animation. The story here is simple and sweet.
This film reminds me of a game I played near the top of a Wall Street building once back in the nineties. We opened a window and tried to hit a building one block away with various paper airplanes. There was a wind current making it possible to get very close to the other building, but invariably the little planes would veer off and go around the building without ever making the expected contact. So I sympathize with this cartoon character's seemingly useless efforts.
Here’s the first official trailer for Disney’s upcoming film, ‘John Carter.’ It’s an odd way to retitle Edgar Rice Burroughs’ science fiction novel, ‘A Princess of Mars.’ But that’s what they’ve done. I don’t imagine there are too many people who will go see a movie named for someone called John Carter. But anything is possible. If you’d like to put up with some very bad writing by Mr. Burroughs, you can listen to Candlelight’s complete audio book version of the novel. I’m not sure why I recorded it at all. Burroughs turned what should have been a short story into a novel by making all of his sentences run the length of football fields.
James Schneider made ‘The Dystopian Trilogy’ in 1993, mainly through the use of found footage. Its three parts, ‘Faerie-Monition,’ ‘Oasis,’ and ‘Median Strip,’ convey modern Americans’ infatuation with closing off entire communities from the rest of the world for some theoretical benefit. The first part deals with the corporatization and homogenization of imagination through eerie footage of Euro-Disney. The second part focuses on a gated community near Las Vegas. The third contrasts and connects the freedom of the modern highway to the growth of our prison system and the fast-growing outrage of private prisons run for profit. This last part, when seen in light of today’s use of immigration law to fill corporate-owned prisons with people who are turned into a slave workforce, is particularly frightening.