Archive for September, 2012

The Aristocats (1970)

Posted in Uncategorized on September 23, 2012 by dpallee

(left to right) Toiulouse, Marie and Berloiz from "The Aristocats".

 One of the great Disney eras of animation sadly came around the time of Walt Disney’s death. The last movie approved by Disney was the 1970 classic The Aristocats. This film is a model example of Disney style and technique in this era, giving us such timeless movies as 1012 Dalmations, The Jungle Book and The Sword in the Stone to mention a few. The formula for these animated films worked well and stand the test of time with people of all ages.

 This adventure tells the tale of four felines in 1910 France. The mother cat, Duchess (voice of Eva Gabor) and her three kittens, Toulouse, Marie and Berloize live a luxurious life with an aristocratic woman. When she passes away, her will reveals she left all her fortune to her cats; second in line to her inheritance is her long employed butler,  Edgar (voice of Roddy Maude-Roxby). The butler schemes and plans to get the inheritance by disposing of the cats. The pampered felines end up in the country where a street-wise alley cat named Thomas O”Malley (voice of Phil Harris) helps bring Duchess and her family back to Paris. Song numbers in this movie reflect a more upbeat range, enhanced by the singing legend Scatman Crothers. This is not the first time Crothers and Harris teamed up for a Disney classic. Their voices are also main characters Baloo the Bear and King Louie in Disney’s The Jungle Book. Crothers and Harris were accompanied by a huge list of notable voice talents for this film, including Sterling Holloway (the voice of Winnie the Pooh), Paul Winchell (famous ventriloquist of Jerry Mahoney), Pat Buttram (Mr. Haney of the tv series Green Acres), George “Goober” Lindsay and Nancy Kulp (Miss Hathaway from the tv series, The Beverly Hillibillies) to mention some. Each generation will delight in this tale so watch it with a younger audience and enjoy it one more time

 A quick note to viewers of this blog. If you are a fan of webcomics, please feel free to view my online comic series, Space Farmer. BE FORWARNED the content is of an adult nature (violence, language) but I hope you can enjoy can view it online here.


Akira (1988)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 10, 2012 by dpallee

Shotaro Kaneda from the anime classic,

 Arguably one of the most influential anime films to be created is the 1988 cult classic Akira, which I herald as a milestone achievement in animated movies. Manga artist and film director/screen writer Katsuhiro Otomo worked eight years on this story’s screen adaptation and without hesitation, I rank this among the five best animated films of all time.

 This science fiction tale takes place in a post apocalyptic Neo Tokyo, where motorcycles gangs roam the street in battle against other gangs. Kaneda (voice of Mitsuo Iwata) leads his gang in a brawl against the rival ‘Clowns’ gang that ends with Kaneda’s good friend, Tetsuo, (voice of Nozomu Sasaki) hospitalized. Tetsuo is monitored by a secret government agency that discovers the boy has incredible psychic powers, powers similar to a young boy in their possession named Akira. Tetsuo struggles to keep control of this new found power of his but slowly turns into a raging, seemingly unstoppable force. The portrayal of this out of control teenager is all too human and Tetsuo’s shortcoming with his own temper lead to a dramatic conclusion, but the storyline is just one piece of what makes this a must see film. The color and animating styles used in Akira set the tone and pace for future films to incorporate with dramatic timing of explosions, representational force enhanced with lines and color-a real eye opener for anyone to watch.

 For American audiences (or anyone unfamiliar with Japanese audio) used to reading subtitles I would suggest getting the original version to watch, as the original actor’s voices enhance the emotions and angst behind the characters. I have watched 3 versions of this film, the original release and the two English dubbed versions (the last being released in 2001) and gave noticed slight differences in the dialogue of all 3 films, however, it has not distracted from the entire experience of this film in any way. Watch this one a few times and take in all the arduous work that went into this movie.