Stop Motion Animation & Supertime

Tis a wonderful time to be a fan of stop motion animated films. First the excellent Corpse Bride and now the awesome Curse of the Wererabbit. Interesting how we get two really good stop motion movies at once and we haven’t had a good cell-animated American-made film is quite a while? I’m not trying to bash Disney, but since the Pocahontas fiasco there’s been one really good cel-animated film (Emperor’s new groove) a few good ones (Home on the Range) and a bunch of tragically mediocre ones (Return to Atlantis, Treasure Planet). Meanwhile, Pixar has been tossing out masterpeices as if they loaded a bunch of gold nuggets into a tennis ball-launcher and aimed it at us. But back to Corpse Bride and Wererabbit.

Since this is (to my knowlege) the first time two Stop Motion movies have been in the theaters at once (not counting King Kong/Harryhausen stop motion and live action mixes) and CGI movies are on the rise, I suspect this is probably the last time anything like this will ever happen again. Which is sad in a way, but on the positive side, there’s a ton of good animation of all kinds you can get for free on the Web (just look for it and have a really fast connection) and/or on DVD. I’m no Luddite, but I have these annoying traditionalist tendencies sometimes.

Anyway, Curse of the Wererabbit is awesome. I was “there” (in London) when The Wrong Trousers came out, so this was a big deal for me and I expected great things from Ardman Animations. Even so, I hadn’t expected it to be so good. I mean, far better than Chicken Run, and I liked that as well. Wererabbit is pure, undiluted slapstick, puns & visual gags but with an actual storyline. A bit Wile E Cayote, a bit Monty Python. There are a couple double entendres that most kids will miss (like the line about “examining produce”), and a few uniquely Biritsh puns that most Americans will miss (like the line about “Arson/Arsein’ around”), but nearly all the humor translates pretty well.

In short, I have nothing bad to say about it, except that they made Chicken Run between this and the last W&G production instead of making Wererabbit first, dang it. But it was worth the wait. If you’re 7 you’ll like it. If you’re 47 you’ll like it. You’ll probably like it even if you’re 17-37 and think you’re too cool for cartoons. If for some freaky reason you don’t like it, there’s probably something wrong with you (or maybe you just don’t understand English).

Incedentally, I’d like to publically congratulate the genius who decided to pull Corpse Bride out of the Moorestown Mall theater the week before Halloween Weekend. He deserves a frickin’ Nobel Prize for his braininess. (Since he’s obviously too dumb to “get it”, I guess I need to point out that I am being ironic here.) (Frickin’ week before Halloween! No one is going to want to see some generic chick-flick on Halloween! He could have waited one frickin’ week and I might have visited that theater this weekend! Instead there’s nothing for me, because I just saw Curse of the Wererabbit and even though it’s awesome I don’t want to see it again this soon, especially with the crowds. Idjit…)

In Other Stuff news, I’m done Angel Season 3, which means I can read any Eden Studio Buffy/Angelverse book without fear of spoilers! Plus, I have just 44 episodes left until I’ve seen every Buffy and Angel episode! Yay!

Supertime news!

My novel is coming along nicely. I’ve severely revised the outline and redone most of the first two chapters, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got a story I’m going to see to the end now. Like most of my writing projects, this is an amalgamation of ideas I’ve had for a while now. Unlike most of my writing projects, the characters have only been in existence for a couple weeks at the most because I actually started this project for the class. Like my favorite writing projects, Supertime has (finally) begun to take on a life of it’s own and I have a good feeling about this. I’ve never felt this good about “homework” before. If not “awesome”, this is certainly going to be “frickin’ good”.

Oh yes, I might as well tell you a little about it. I’ll try to stick to the stuff that won’t change between now and the final version:

Superheroes are real and have a real history (see the Astro City comic for a really good example of what I mean by that). A kid from 2007 ends up in 1938 through a Cosmic Accident. He also discovers he has super powers. He also discovers that he is actually one of the super heroes from the dawn of the Golden Age and has to help out the premiere super-team of his universe. He has a vague idea of what is about to happen, including a betrayal by one of the heroes on the team which will directly impact the course of world events, but he can’t remember the details. This is particularly important because if he ends up changing anything, he’ll irrevocably screw up the future. He now finally realises the value of paying attention in History class.

That’s the gist of the first two chapters. I’m fairly certain how I’m going to end it, but you’ll have to wait until I’m done the book to find out. Sorry. But hey, it’ll probably be done faster than Deadlands Reloaded. (http://www.greatwhitegames.com)

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