Makoto Shinkai is a filmmaker whose heart lies with the cosmos. The Your Name director looks at the world through a lens so expansive that sometimes humans can get lost in it — his earliest films more often than not forgot about the character and favored the awe inspired by natural phenomena: meteor showers, typhoons, the unchanging rhythm of the seasons. Like Hayao Miyazaki, who Shinkai has frequently been compared to as the anime legend’s widely regarded successor, Shinkai bows to the might of nature — though his films don’t have quite the deep political messaging as Miyazaki’s.
Shinkai’s strengths lie in his breathtaking animated tributes to the power of nature, rendered in stunning photorealistic animation, and the ripples that natural phenomena send to affect the little people on Earth. It’s why his early films would often feel cold and distant, and his characters vague outlines of people. But with the globally successful Your Name, Shinkai gained a sense of humor. He found a funny bone, a perfect compromise between his cosmic ambition and his intimate character writing. He swings even further in that lighthearted direction with Weathering With You, a whimsical supernatural romance with a pointed environmental message that is even more vibrant than his 2016 mega-hit, but doesn’t quite pack the same emotional wallop.
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Fans of The Dark Tower have had it pretty rough over the past few years. First, they had to deal with the abysmal, lazy big screen adaptation of the Stephen King book series in 2017. And now they have to deal with the fact that Amazon just passed on the pilot for The Dark Tower TV series from executive producer Glen Mazzara. Read More »
It’ll be at least another year before we return to Westeros.
During today’s Television Critics Association winter press tour, HBO’s head of programming, Casey Bloys, said that House of the Dragon, the network’s first big Game of Thrones prequel series, is expected to debut sometime in 2022. Bloys explained why he gave a series order to that show but passed on Jane Goldman’s series last year, and he also provided a Watchmen season 2 update. Read his comments below. Read More »
During /Film’s visit to Pixar Animation’s campus, we learned all about the unique story process that was utilized for the studio’s upcoming modern fantasy adventure Onward. While we learned how the story was written and drawn before heading into animation, we also heard from director Dan Scanlon about the personal nature of this narrative and how it informed both the story of the nervous and introverted 16-year old elf (Tom Holland) and the creation of the fantasy world that has lost the magic it once had. Read More »
Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world have been waiting for months for an official announcement from Amazon Studios about its The Lord of the Rings cast members for the upcoming streaming series. Today, that wait came to an end. Amazon took to social media to reveal fifteen cast members for the show, and you can get a breakdown of each of them below. Read More »
This Spring brings the release of Pixar Animation’s Onward, a modern fantasy adventure about Ian and Barley (Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) two teenage elf brothers who magically get the opportunity to spend just 24 hours with their late father, thanks to a magic spell, a wizard’s staff, and a special stone. But when the spell to bring their father back for a day goes slightly wrong, they’re quickly thrust into a race against time to find a bit more of the magic that used to make their world so special, all so they can get just a little more time with their dad.
Last Fall, /Film visited the campus of Pixar Animation of Emeryville, California to learn more about Onward, starting with how the story for this fantasy adventure first came together. As with all animated movies, the journey began years before, but this one stretched even further back, all the way to the Fall of 2013. And as with all stories, it started with a completely blank slate before becoming something touching, personal and magical. Read More »
It’s been 25 years since The Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the U.K.) was first published and became a children’s lit hit. A coming-of-age story nestled in a riveting otherworldly adventure filled with witches, talking polar bears, and animal companions, Pullman would use that children’s fantasy smokescreen to slowly introduce an unexpected subversion of Milton’s Paradise Lost. When the heroine Lyra fails to save her friend at the end of The Golden Compass, the shock that that this was not going to be your average children’s fantasy adventure was eye-opening. It was just the beginning of Pullman’s extraordinary twists — soon his lighthearted fantasy adventure turned into an epic of God-killing proportions. By the time The Amber Spyglass hit bookshelves in 2000, readers of Pullman’s newly dubbed His Dark Materials trilogy were changed — coming of age through the series much like the beloved characters.
But 25 years later, His Dark Materials is ready for adulthood. The author made a highly anticipated return to the world of His Dark Materials (after a brief sojourn in 2003 with the short story Lyra’s Oxford) with 2017’s La Belle Sauvage, the first installment in a new spin-off trilogy The Book of Dust. It was a solid new novel that recaptured the wondrous quality of the original books while adding a fairy tale-like spin. But its narrative, which followed two new characters who embark on a journey to protect Lyra as a baby during a flood that nearly wipes out Oxford, was rather slim. The second book in The Book of Dust, the recently released The Secret Commonwealth, swings in the complete opposite direction, with a more mature tone and a complex plot involving religious conspiratorial schemes and roses that stretches out over a monstrous 600 pages.
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Weathering With You is finally making its long-awaited debut in the U.S., which means it’s getting an official English dub for those who struggle with (in the words of Bong Joon-ho) the one-inch barrier of subtitles. GKIDs has released a new Weathering With You clip that gives a preview of the English-language voice cast, which includes Lee Pace, Alison Brie, and Riz Ahmed, in action. But don’t worry, subtitle lovers: When Makoto Shinkai’s highly anticipated follow-up to his worldwide hit Your Name hits theaters later this month, both sub and dub versions will be available.
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Accio Harry Potter merchandise! That’s what you’ll be saying when the first ever flagship Harry Potter store is opened by Warner Bros. in New York City this summer.
A press release has announced the opening of an official Harry Potter store that will become a permanent fixture and inevitable tourist attraction in the iconic Flatiron building at 935 Broadway. It will feature the the largest collection of Harry Potter (and Fantastic Beasts) merchandise in the world, including some items that you’ll only be able to get at this store. Find out more below. Read More »
The doors have opened for a Willow sequel series on Disney+. After Ron Howard teased that Solo writer Jonathan Kasdan was in discussions with Disney+ to revive the director’s 1988 epic fantasy film in the form of a TV series, Kasdan has fed nostalgia-hungry fans another cryptic morsel to keep up the hype. But while Kasdan has seemingly started work on a Willow sequel series, original film star Warwick Davis cautions that nothing is totally official yet.
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