The 10 Best Animated Flying Sequences

best animated flying sequences

(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: the best animated flying sequences.)

The best kinds of animated films sweep you away — whether in their dazzling technical craft, their boundless imagination, or their awe-inspiring execution. And the best kinds of animated flying sequences achieve all three.

In honor of the release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third and final film in a franchise that has given us some of the most breakthtaking flying sequences rendered to celluloid, I have compiled the best flying sequences from animated films. Because of my arbitrary decision to limit the definition of “flying” to characters achieving lift for a significant amount of time, it pains me to say that I won’t be including last year’s brilliant Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but honorable mention goes to that leap of faith. Now that that’s all said and done, here are the 10 best animated flying sequences.

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The 15 Most Beautiful Animated Movies Ever

most beautiful animated movies

(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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hayao miyazaki prints

There’s nothing as magical as watching a Hayao Miyazaki film, and letting it transport you to a fantastical world where dragons soar and castles walk. But a Hayao Miyazaki print done in the style of Japanese woodblock prints may just come close.

For a limited time, Japanese woodblock-style prints of Studio Ghibli movies directed by the legendary anime filmmaker are available to purchase. But better snatch them up quick, because like a certain antique grandfather clock in Whisper of the Heart, at the stroke of midnight, they may disappear.

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Hoai-Tran Bui’s Favorite Movies of All Time

Hoai-Tran Bui's Favorite Movies of All Time

Hey, /Film. What’s a nice place like you doing in a girl like this? Wait, let me start over…

My name is Hoai-Tran Bui, and I’m just happy to be here. Before you ask me how to pronounce my name (not important, and you’d probably get it wrong anyway), let me tell you about my favorite films.

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The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray

The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-Ray Set will be released by Disney in North America and is now available for pre-order for $224.99. The U.S. release of this set appears to be an Amazon exclusive. Shipping is free with or without Amazon Prime. The set includes the following films: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises. An international trailer and details about bonus features included in the set, can be found after the jump.

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Spirited Away 8-bit

Hayao Miyazaki‘s films represent some of the greatest animation in cinema, but his ideas are so close to the material in some Japanese RPG video games that it seems only natural to see some of Miyazaki’s work reimagined in video game form.

Spirited Away is among Miyazaki’s best work (OK, I think it is his best work) and one of the greatest examples of visual storytelling in animation, or any style of filmmaking. But the characters and storytelling of Spirited Away are so pure that, even distilled down into simple video game form, the ideas remain clear. Now, a set of artists has produced a Spirited Away 8-Bit “remake,” complete with sounds and music appropriate for an NES presentation. Check it out below.  Read More »

See The Studio Ghibli Theme Park We Wish Were Real

Studio Ghibli Theme Park

How much would you love to visit the worlds of Hayao Miyazaki? Who wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso or the Aburaya Bathhouse from Spirited Away? Japanese artist Takumi has dreamed up a Studio Ghibli Theme Park we can only wish were real — its not gonna happen but imagine if Disney were to buy Ghibli and create such a theme park in Japan. After the jump you can see the fantastic designs created by Takumi which bring together many of the worlds seen in the Studio Ghibli movies.

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Films of Hayao Miyazaki

Rumors of the closure of Studio Ghibli are not true, but it seems that Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro director Hayao Miyazaki may be done with feature filmmaking for good. In a career that spanned over thirty years directing features, Miyazaki refined his own storytelling and helped change the world’s idea of what stories animated films can bring to audiences of all ages. And yet even with the muscle of Disney behind them, the films of Hayao Miyazaki have been somewhat slow to hit DVD and then Blu-ray in the US. (For Blu-ray that is in part thanks to a measured release plan in Japan.)

With the recent US Blu upgrades for Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke, and the debut release of The Wind Rises on Disney home video, all but three of Miyazaki’s films are now on blu-ray in the States. (Disney will probably have Spirited Away out by Christmas 2015.) That’s as good a reason as any to look back at the filmmaker’s illustrious career. There aren’t any films on his CV you should not see — he has not made a bad movie — but below we’ll look at the films of Hayao Miyazaki in ranked order, to help you figure out what to prioritize, in the event you’re relatively new to his work.

Update: Disney has now also released Porco Rosso on blu-ray, along with excellent discs of Pom Poko and Tales From Earthsea. Disney’s blu releases of Miyazaki (and Ghibli films in general) have been excellent, and stand as essential upgrades from previous releases.

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Mononoke

Mondo, a company best known for posters, has also been releasing some incredible albums. They’ve done Drive, Poltergeist, and many others but now they’ve gone above and beyond. Mondo has teamed up with Studio Ghibli to release a compilation album featuring music from five different films: Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Cat Returns and My Neighbors The Yamadas. There will be three different covers, all done by Tyler Stout, and you can read everything about them below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Olly Moss - Howls Moving Castle header

Fans of comics, toys, TV, movies and video games have come to consider San Diego Comic-Con almost like Christmas. We wait patiently all year, and then four days in July pack in months worth of awesome. However, while we’ve come expect that level of crazy for the traditional pop culture stuff, the last few years have done the same for the poster world too. That’s in large part because Mondo has chosen to release dozens of exclusive posters at the event as well as provide some incredible opportunities to fans. This year seems like it will trump them all.

Artists Drew Struzan, Martin Ansin and Olly Moss will all be at the convention signing brand new posters of theirs for The Dark Tower, Conan the Barbarian and Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, respectively. Plus, each is being sold as a pre-order THIS WEEK to avoid crazy lines. Mondo is also releasing four new Pacific Rim posters, and that’s just the start.

Below, read all the details on the releases and check out our exclusive reveal of the Moss’ Howl’s Moving Castle. Read More »