THE HEDGE (2006) DreamWorks Animation
Based on a long-running comic strip that tells the antics
of RJ the raccoon, Verne the turtle and their furry
friends in the suburbia, "Over the Hedge"
features Bruce 'Die Hard' Willis in his second animation
outing in a role which was originally meant for Jim
Carrey. The various characters with their madcap antics
and dry wit are why this animation is a must-watch.
The gorgeous look of the movie is one unforgettable
THE ROBINSONS (2007) Disney
Nearly sixty percent of this Disney animation underwent
reshoot under the watchful eye of John Lasseter, chief
creative officer of animation at Disney. However, credit
also has to go to director Steve Anderson who based
the protagonist on his own childhood as a foster child.
Touching, wacky and some relevant lessons you can take
home with. Oh who can forget Frankie the frog in that
HOUSE (2006) Sony Pictures Animation
Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis,
this is an unexpected gem released in 2006. Using a
technology called motion capturing which Zemeckis employed
earlier for "The Polar Express", "Monster
House" is a whole bag of fun and surprise, surprise
served up some pretty tense, scary moments as well.
Not for the little kiddos though.
is a strange, disturbing story of reality and nightmares.
Our reviewer calls it 'a whimsical sci-fi film noir
that shuttles between a psychiatric institute’s
sanitized halls and the dream life of its patients'.
Whatever that means, it’s something deep. You
want something to kill a boring Sunday afternoon? This
is definitely not the recommended fare.
GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME (2006) Madhouse
girl that could 'leap' backwards through time? Sounds
fun. But this animation feature which didn’t actually
boast fancy anime-effects did has a much meaningful
hidden message. Using traditional hand-drawn cel for
most of the scenes, this piece of work deserved a much
wider audience and makes you put on your thinking cap
after all the befuddled time-travelling acts.
The Pixar gang can do no wrong even if they thrown in
a story about a rat that can whip fine French cuisine.
Winner of Best Animated Feature Film of the Year in
the Oscar, this picture had Pixar fans worried for a
while for its slow crawl at the box-office gross but
as positive words spread like wildfire, "Ratatouille"
manages to amass US$206 million at the end of its domestic
run. Not bad for a four-legged rodent and a novice chef.
(2005) 20th Century Fox/Blue Sky Studio
Sky studio is the mastermind behind the successful "Ice
Age" franchise. Remember the nut obsessed Scrat?
But in 2005, Blue Sky ventures into something entirely
different. From the stone age to the futuristic world
where Robots live. Every screw, nuts, bolts and metallic
pieces are rendered ingeniously on the screen with voiceovers
from Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry and Robin Williams.
The CG are top notch and that 'follow-your-dream' message
remain rooted in my head. Definitely one of my favourite
animations which didn’t came from Pixar and DreamWorks.
FROM EARTHSEA (2006) Studio Ghibli
by Goro Miyazaki, son of highly respected Japanese animation
auteur Hayao Miyazaki, "Tales from Earthsea"
is surprisingly dropped from a theatrical run here.
Although not as widely raved as his father’s past
works and considering its Goro’s first animation
feature, "Earthsea" is a leisurely paced,
old-fashioned way of storytelling that will surely find
its audience given the proper exposure.
(2007) Warner Bros/Paramount/Sony Pictures Imageworks
Robert Zemeckis must be getting tired working with real
actors so here he is, doing the motion-capturing thingy
with a material based on an old English heroic poem.
The screenplay is co-written by renowned comic-book
writer Neil Gaiman and featured the likes of Angelina
Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich in CG forms.
"Beowulf" is filled with loud, brutal content
with the occasional Jolie’s curvaceous figure
to make your admission ticket worthwhile.
IRON GIANT (1999) Warner Bros
the under-appreciated "The Iron Giant" was
released way back in 1999. But the special edition DVD
was released later in the year 2004, so here it is.
The incredible Brad Bird directed this hand-drawn feature
which was based on a children’s book. Sad thing
is nobody bothers to give it a look when it was released
back then. It’s a simple story about friendship
with lots of heart. Track down the DVD if you can.
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