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10 Till 6 #1: Crying Through Toy Story 3, A Stick Figure Action Hero Returns & Animated Politicos

Time Magazine asks why parents cry during animated kids movies, Alan Becker's newest installment of Animator vs. Animation hits the web and Ray Grigg's political documentary I Want Your Money, highlighted by animated US Presidents past and present, hits selected theaters.

My inaugural 10 Till 6 post…Please be gentle.

Why Do Adults Cry So Easily in Animated Kids Movies

Belinda Luscombe just published an article on the Time Magazine website in which she ponders why adults cry so easily when they watch animated kids movies.  My guess is that they’re still upset over the cost of tickets and armfuls of popcorn, candy and sky blue slushies, but the economics of the cinematic experience are not to be confused with the more cerebral and emotional aspects of the animated film viewing experience discussed in the article.

I would argue that if you can sit through an entire program of contemporary experimental animation, you’ll see plenty of people crying. You’ll probably cry too. If you can still produce tears after gouging your eyes out. Pixar has no monopoly on bringing moviegoers to tears – did any of you sit through the Chinese Animation program at SIGGRAPH this year?

More to the point, in the article, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich theorized that animated movies can be more affecting than movies with real people in them. "Live action movies are someone else's story," he says. "With animation, audiences can't think that. Their guards are down." Because the characters are clearly not alive, he suggests counterintuitively, people identify with them more readily. Interesting perspective – we are drawn more to the emotions of inanimate objects, we can more easily relate to them and internalize their stories because there is no “real” person within the story to compete with. Sounds reasonable.

Belinda also goes on to make an argument involving hormones, tears, prolactin and nurturing, but thoughts of mom, lactation and animation brought me to a dark place better left unexplored or discussed. 

You can find Belinda’s article here: http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/11/why-adults-cry-so-easily-in-animated-kids-movies/.

Catch the New Animator vs. Animation 3 Short

Alan Becker’s fantastic flash-animated stick figure is back with another installment of the ongoing personal computer battles popularized in 2 previous films.  Released on Atom.com, Animator vs. Animation 3 pits our hero against the Microsoft Office Assistant (aka paperclip) and the Firefox icon, as well as new battlegrounds including Solitaire and Minesweeper.

Here’s the trailer – you can find the entire film here on Atom.com:

Here are the first two installments:

Political Barn Burner I Want Your Money Opens This Friday

With a broad lineup of interviews with notable conservatives set alongside animated comparisons of the words and actions of President Barack Obama and former President Ronald Regan, filmmaker Ray Grigg’s documentary I Want Your Money opens this Friday in selected theatres throughout the US. 

The cast includes Andrew Breitbart, Steve Forbes, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and John Stossel, as well as the exaggerated cg animated caricatures of Obama, Reagan and former President Clinton among others.  The film is bound to inflame passions and invite heated commentary from both conservative and liberals alike.  Here’s the trailer:

It will be interesting to see how this film is greeted by the media, with press screenings being held this week and political discourse in the US seemingly reaching new heights of shrillness every day.  Grigg states he uses interviews from well-known public figures, experts, movie clips, dramatic portrayals, music, graphics and even comedic animation to tell the story in the plainest terms of the choice between the Obama and the Reagan views of the role of the federal government in our society.

If I Want Your Money is a call to action for those who care about the future of the United States, as the film’s website states, it remains to be seen if people respond with anything more appropriate than three finger salutes and choice words about you and the goat you rode in on.

You can find out more about this film: http://www.iwantyourmoney.net/.

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