(To celebrate the release of Missing Link, we’re revisiting the stop-motion animated films of Laika this week and discussing why they’re so special. Today: Kubo and the Two Strings is a moving parable of love and remembrance.)
Memory is a fragile, fickle, formative thing. It’s manipulable and elastic, but it’s also the base of our identities, the metric by which we measure our personal growth and change, the mechanism by which we form opinions and make judgments about the world. This is why we tell ourselves stories, to give our memories a continuity of purpose and meaning, and if there’s one thing that stop-motion animation studio LAIKA understands about those self-told stories, it’s that they are our primary connection to those who came before us.
Kubo and the Two Strings is a story about holding on to family through our memories, and how love is born from memories, even when we don’t have conscious access to them or simply have stories to go by.
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(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the most beautiful animated movies.)
Over the weekend, one of the most imaginative and visually striking animated movies ever made hit theaters. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is being hailed as a groundbreaking achievement, and a testament to the creative heights that animation can reach. But it’s not the first animated movie to push the boundaries of the medium.
Animation so often gets dismissed a “children’s genre” that it’s often overlooked how damn beautiful these movies can get. Cinema is first and foremost a visual medium, and no other medium can test the limits of the imagination and realize the potential of filmmaking like animation. So in honor of the release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, here are the 15 most beautiful animated films ever.
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Fall is upon us! The weather is getting a little more chilly, and there’s no better time to curl up with some movies at home. But there’s a batch of movies leaving Netflix that you might want to prioritize before they leave the streaming service next month. It’s a shorter list overall, but there is still some great stuff leaving next month.
So let’s get down to the best TV shows and movies leaving Netflix in October. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this Comic-Con edition, watch a trailer for an upcoming documentary about the cantina band from Star Wars: A New Hope, take a tour through LAIKA‘s fantastic stop-motion animation exhibition from San Diego Comic-Con, and check out some of the best cosplay that was spotted all around the massive convention last week. Read More »
Mothers are incredible creatures, that’s a given. From your own to those of a fictional existence, all of the moms of the world each play a critical role in the story of our lives, or in the tales of our favorite pieces of media. They inspire the hero, teach them the fundamental building blocks of life, and energize them to continue on their own personal journeys – all the while being their own special brand of magical, smart individuals (or being terrifying villains of the horror sort, but that’s for another list.)
So with a certain mother themed holiday having just passed, along with the momma-positive flicks Life of the Party and Breaking In now in theaters, it is definitely time to celebrate some of the best moms in cinematic history. There will be some obvious choices for sure, but there are also some underrated ladies that need their moment to shine. Whether you would put them on your own list, or choose a different movie mom to recognize, there is no denying the importance these women have within their stories, and for the legacy of moms on film as a whole. So grab your bouquet of flowers – its time to pay the 10 best movie moms some respect! Read More »
(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: here are the most essential stop-motion animated movies.)
Stop-motion animation is largely seen as a quaint relic. An animation style that has roots in the earliest days of cinema — the first reported film to use stop-motion animation was Vitagraph’s lost 1897 film Humpty Dumpty Circus. Stop-motion would remain at the cutting edge of movie-making, central to special effects used in live-action movies like Star Wars, and winning mainstream popularity at the height of the animation renaissance in the ‘90s.
Stop-motion animation is the manipulation of any physical object — ranging from paper cutouts, puppets, Lego bricks, and yes, clay. It’s one of the most tedious formats you can imagine, requiring hours to set up a simple one-minute shot. But despite the domination of CG animation in the past decade, stop-motion is here to stay. Just look to this year’s Berlinale darling, Isle of the Dogs, and the latest Aardman film Early Man.
Here are the most essential stop-motion animated movies.
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There probably aren’t a lot of people clamoring for a Haunted Mansion reboot, but once you see this brief animated teaser, you might start to think differently.
The forgettable 2003 comedy-horror movie starring Eddie Murphy — itself an adaptation of the Disney parks attraction — was probably better left to collect dust in the Disney archives, but in the hands of Kubo and the Two Strings character designer and story writer Shannon Tindle, a Haunted Mansion animated series opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The animator released a brief teaser for his proposal of a Disney animated series, as well as some art that he developed for the project. Alas, the series was never picked up by Disney, but it does make me wonder what could have been.
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Today is Thanksgiving, when families all round the country gather to stuff their faces with delicious food and argue about politics. Then we follow that up with Black Friday, when we forget about all the things were were thankful for so we can run through the aisles of various retails outlets for discounted electronics, appliances and more. But if you’re not the kind of person to brave the massive crowds out in the real world, there’s plenty of good stuff for you to snag online as well.
The awesome folks at Mondo have a handful of great Black Friday deals which include new prints for Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Thor: Ragnarok, Ex Machina and the films of LAIKA, not to mention a deluxe edition of The Art of Mondo book. Check out all of the Mondo Black Friday deals below. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 by Jacob Hall
Comic-Con doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow (although it unofficially kicks off tonight with all kinds of previews and off-site presentations), but everyone in San Diego can already get a little taste of some cinematic magic. LAIKA, the stop-motion animation studio behind films like Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings has set up shop in the Gaslamp District, offering a walkthrough mini-museum showing off puppets and sets from their movies.
And while you don’t have to be a Comic-Con badge holder to check out The LAIKA Experience, not everyone can be in San Diego. But we’ve got you covered. We checked it out and we returned with photos. Lots and lots of photos.
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In less than two weeks, over 130,000 fans will descend upon southern California for the annual San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest pop culture convention in the world. The/Film crew will be there to bring you the big updates from all the panels and events happening on site, and one of the events we’ll be attending doesn’t even require the coveted Comic-Con badge. In fact, it’s free, and anyone in the San Diego area can check it out.
The stop-motion animation studio LAIKA has announced a pop-up event in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego where they will showcase props, puppets, monsters, and sets from Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline, as well as fan art, interactive experiences, giveaways and a shop for picking up some sweet merchandise. Find out below what you can see at The LAIKA Experience at Comic-Con later this month. Read More »