QUOTE OF THE MONTH
I’m writing this the day that news came of the death of music icon Prince, and while I wasn’t the most dedicated fan of the purple-clad innovator, the loss of yet another great musician this year does drive home the importance creative people can have in our lives, and that includes animators. The projects we cover in this issue prove that animation is a vital and near-infinite form of creative expression, if only its practitioners have the courage to dig deep and create projects that really mean something.
Up front, we’ve got Ratchet & Clank, the animated feature based on the popular Sony PlayStation game series. It’s also the second theatrical feature from Rainmaker Entertainment in Vancouver — a studio whose work we’ve long admired, so it’s satisfying to see this long-awaited indie feature hit theaters at last!
On the complete other end of the spectrum is Belladonna of Sadness. I thought I knew quite a bit about animation, so I’m glad I’m not the only one taken aback by the re-discovery of this strange and often disturbingly beautiful lost 1973 animated feature. The restoration looks amazing and this is a true animated art-house movie — one that deserves to be seen, absorbed and debated endlessly.
We next have The Loud House, which is a kind of modern throwback to both great newspaper comic strips and family comedy shows. We’ve known about this one for quite a while because Animag alumnus Jordan Koch has been working on it for a while — and telling us how fun it is. Having finally seen finished episodes, I’m happy to say he’s right and it’s worth checking out.
And one of the biggest movie events of the year is coming up: the Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Film Market. Turn to page 20 to read my thoughts on the festival and how it needs to adapt to give animation its due as a creative and commercial force in the worldwide movie industry. The market is making steps toward recognizing this, bringing in a showcase of animated projects from Annecy, while the success of companies like Copenhagen Bombay (celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016) and Wizart shows just how wide and deep a global impact animation has made.
Lastly, we check out the VFX of the blockbuster Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, longtime comics fan very much enjoyed, and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.
Next month, we’re covering Annecy in advance of the festival itself — I’ll be going for the first time and I can’t wait to check it out. If you see me, say hi!
We also will be presenting a special report called “The Innovators,” and it’s not too late to submit to us your suggestions for companies, people and projects that are pushing forward the art, business and tech of animation and visual effects.
Until next issue,