Saturday, June 19, 2010

State of the Animation

Sorry I've been gone so long. Work has been kicking my ass, I've been planning a wedding, and I've been just too exhausted to post. It's the worst possible time, too, because I've seen a TON of great animation lately, and there's more around the corner! So, in reverse chronological order, here's where I'm at:

New Futurama comes next week. I have always considered Futurama to be the superior Matt Groening show, and I think the makers agree with me -- I believe that's why the quality of The Simpsons plummeted when Futurama was on the air. They were giving their full attention to Futurama, and letting Simpsons slide. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Futurama is not only better than Simpsons, it's the best American animated series for adults. I'm racing to get a retrospective on it done before the new show starts.

Saw Toy Story 3 last night. It was amazing! I've always liked Toy Story, but I never felt it was Pixar's best work -- I consider Up, Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Finding Nemo to be better than either of the first two Toy Stories. But somehow, I ended up caring about these characters more than I thought, because I actually cried at the end of Toy Story 3. This had better be the last movie in the franchise, though; it was absolutely perfect, both in its own right and as a finale, and it should not be messed with in future. I probably won't address it in more detail until it comes out on DVD, but I am going to see it again tomorrow!

Adventure Time! with Finn and Jake continues to be the best cartoon in years. It just so perfectly captures the essence of the worlds I would imagine with my toys, and slyly winks at the audience while it's doing it. Weirdly, it manages to do so without being the least bit cynical. Quite the opposite: It bursts with joy from every seam.

I also saw Rebuild of Evangelion 2.22 recently, and was completely blown away. To explain as spoiler-free, throughout the first half of the movie the differences (frankly, improvements) in characterization from the first movie pile up, so that in the second half it can go completely off the rails. The second half of the movie takes my favorite four episodes of the TV series and subverts them entirely, so that their outcome and meaning is utterly different even while the actual events are similar. It's pure genius, and the best anime I've seen in years. I am planning to do an in-depth analysis, something like I do for AtLA, but I'm not entirely sure when.

Speaking of AtLA, my review of "Jet" should be (finally) done this weekend. It's one of my favorite episodes, and I've been itching to it. Stupid work. Also, I want to get a post about the Racebending controversy up before the movie comes out, so expect that soon.

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