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Article Type: Review


Book Review: 'When Magoo Flew: The Rise and Fall of Animation Studio UPA'

Adam Abraham’s new book smartly tells the story of UPA’s meteoric rise, eventual decline and lasting artistic and creative impact still felt today.

Animation Blogs

Frenzer Foreman Animation Forum (podcast) x 29

Special Guest: OIAF Animators' Picnic 2011 - Part 2

It's the FFAF Pre-Holiday Holiday Spectacular as Joel and Alan continue to bother more legends of international animation trying to eat, drink, and be wary at the Ottawa International Animation Festival 2011, Part 2.  PLUS, backstage hijinks and hosting recap of the OIAF 2011 Closing Ceremonies.


2012 Kidscreen Summit: Key Market For Those That Hustle

By Dan Sarto | Monday, February 13, 2012 at 11:10am

To get the most out of KidScreen, you need to set up as many meetings as you can ahead of time and on the fly with other delegates and/or companies. In order to have meetings, you need to have something to talk about and that's usually a property you'd like to pitch or an idea of what you'd like to option with which you'd like to partner. The opportunities are there, but dance cards fill up quickly.


Review: Beauty and the Beast in 3D

By Dan Sarto | Friday, January 13, 2012 at 11:13am

It’s been close to 2 decades since I last saw the original Beauty and the Beast, sitting mesmerized right alongside my then 3 year old daughter Becky. Sitting mesmerized right alongside my now 23 year old daughter as we watched this beautiful new version of the film, I can safely say the ends justify the means and the tremendous amount of work to bring this film to 3D has produced a visually stunning experience.


A NORDIC – BALTIC ADVENTURE - Fredrikstad Animation Festival

By Dan Sarto | Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 6:16am

For five days every year the historic town of Fredrikstad, Norway becomes the center of Nordic/Baltic animation. The festival brings in an illustrious roster of names from the international animation community and this year was no exception.


Blu-ray: THE GUARD (2011)

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:48pm

This dark comedy isn't the prettiest looking release, but Sony does bring it to Blu-ray in a quality MPEG-4 AVC 1080p transfer. Dimensionality is the biggest issue with the image often looking soft. This then lowers the depth of field. Colors are natural and balanced well. When more vibrant colors pop up in the palette they do indeed pop. Blacks might not be inky throughout, but they aren't too murky. Digital issues aren't problematic, but crush is its biggest issue. Of course night scenes in low lighting suffer the worst. Some noise and banding occur but nothing too awful. Most of the issues with the picture quality presumably stem back to the source, which was a low-budget indie shot on Super 35. The worst thing you could say about the image would be that it is inconsistent. Some darker scenes can be murky and feature pixelization, but daylight scenes can be crisp and deep.


WAR HORSE (2011) (***1/2)

Over the years Steven Spielberg has certainly adapted his style to fit the project. The black & white cinematography in SCHINDLER'S LIST added a grim solemnity. The desaturated colors and herky-jerky photography of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN only matched the gritty war sequences. In WAR HORSE, he tackles the first World War with a touch that matches the melodramatic nature of the source book and play. He channels the melodramas of the 1940s and 1950s like John Ford's HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, creating an almost surreal fable.



By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:22pm

Based on Stieg Larsson's international bestseller, this film makes this the second time this story has been brought to the screen. The original Swedish version is very fresh in my mind, having made my top 25 list last year, ranking fourth, just behind David Fincher's THE SOCIAL NETWORK. Now we have Fincher's version of the same tale in English.

Film Blogs

Review: The Adventures of Tintin

By Perry Chen | Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 3:33pm

Have you ever wondered what the life of a young journalist is like? Of course, you could probably hear my story, but my career as a journalist is far less dangerous, mysterious, and exciting than that of Tintin, a boy reporter with spiky orange hair in the movie “The Adventures of Tintin” directed by Steven Spielberg.

Comedy Blogs


By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 11:58pm

Steven Spielberg has made a rousing globetrotting adventure that harkens back to his early INDIANA JONES films. Using performance capture, he brought to life Herge's world-renowned comic strip character in a strangely realistic and surreal way. The lightning paced action scenes will be well accepted from the videogamer set, while older audiences might want it to have slowed down a bit to let us meet these characters.

Animation Blogs

Asia Television Forum 2011: An Animation Creation Hotbed

By Dan Sarto | Friday, December 16, 2011 at 12:57pm

If you’re from South East Asia, China, Japan or Korea, Singapore’s modern architectural skylines may not wow you as much as a Westerner. And I imagine, if you are from the region, the proliferation and impact of Asia’s animation production isn’t news to you either. After all, Asia’s “animation moon” has been full and shining brightly for many years, decades even for some countries.

Comedy Blogs


For a continuing franchise it's so often the quality of the villain that makes the series longevity. The hero never changes, or we think that is the case. It's a good villain that pushes the protagonist to the edge. This is the case with the introduction of Professor James Moriarty into Guy Ritchie's steam punk version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's great detective.

Comedy Blogs

CARNAGE (2011) (***)

By Rick DeMott | Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 11:46am

Roman Polanski adapts Yasmina Reza's dark comedy play for the screen. For better and worse, Polanski, who co-wrote the script with Reza, doesn't adapt the film very much. Outside of a dialogue free opening and closing in a park, the rest of this dialogue-heavy production takes place in one New York apartment. Primarily his top notched cast keeps the film from crumbling under its weaknesses.


SIGGRAPH Technical Papers – More Evidence of My Downfall

By Dan Sarto | Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 12:35pm

If you wish further evidence of your own lack of smartness, sit through a SIGGRAPH technical paper Fast Forward presentation. This was not your typical gathering of wily-old geezer scientists in smocks and meerschaum pipes, ruefully rubbing their beards while thoughtfully using 10 sentences to explain things where one sentence would completely suffice.



Those damn, dirty apes look quite amazing in this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 Blu-ray. This is certainly one of the best Blu-ray releases of the year. The picture quality is crystal clear adding great depth and detail. Weta's CG apes really stand out from fur to skin textures to their realistic looking eyes. The color palette is natural and clean with black levels inky throughout. There is a light film grain that runs through the picture, which does not increase during night scenes. Crush in those night scenes is also nonexistent. As for compression issues and other digital artifacts, they are completely absent.