the inventor

After more than a decade of directing top-tier animated films that went under the radar, Tomm Moore is enjoying his moment in the sun. His breathtaking Wolfwalkers is nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, and people are finally paying attention to his small Irish animation studio, Cartoon Saloon, and its innovative use of 2D animation. Now, Moore is getting work beyond the films he himself has directed, teaming up with Ratatouille writer Jim Capobianco on the stop-motion animated feature The Inventor.

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This Week in Trailers

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week, we pay a visit to a historic comedy venue, live on the road to try to hit it big, save the world, catch the latest by Oscar-caliber animators, and get ripped.

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The Prophet trailer

Salma Hayek produced and provides the voice for the animated version of Kahlil Gibran‘s book The Prophet, and the film’s first trailer is now available. The book is a collection of poems and essays, and in keeping with that original structure the film is directed by a collection of directorial teams, to tell the story of “the unlikely friendship between a young mischievous girl and an imprisoned poet,” with a voice cast that also includes Liam Neeson, Quvenzhané Wallis, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina. Check out The Prophet trailer below.

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In November, when the twenty films submitted for the Best Animated Film Oscar were submitted, we noted a couple of titles that might have been unfamiliar to readers. One of them was The Secret of Kells, which we introduced as “an interesting hand-drawn film about a ninth-century boy who rebels against his guardian’s orders and helps to illuminate a famous Irish manuscript.”

The film has already been released internationally, and at the time we ran that piece, the handful of commentors who had seen it were very enthusiastic about the film. I want to take this chance to run the trailer again so that those who’ve never heard of the film get an idea of how it landed the nomination. Read More »