What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

Non-anime/manga-related TV, movies, books, and comics, especially but not limited to pre-2000 titles
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llj
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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

Post by llj »

_D_ wrote:I might splurge for this set:

http://www.amazon.ca/Looney-Tunes-Volum ... YIK6Y9EEQB

A lot of the shorts here are already in the Golden Collection sets. That said, HD is HD. But I thought many of them looked damned good already in the Golden Collection.

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llj
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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

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Just watched the Ralph Bakshi film Wizards. I haven't seen a lot of Bakshi, and most of the ones I have were decades ago. So yeah, not much deeper knowledge on him.

Wizards is definitely a spotty film. You can see how Bakshi's background working on children's animation definitely clashes with his ambitions to make more "adult" cartoons, especially in this case. There's a mix of cutesy characters and childish humour in the service of a story that actually wants to be serious minded. It doesn't really work.

Being low budget, Wizards also utilizes a lot of stock footage and rotoscopes sequences to cut costs. It's fascinatingly jarring in a way that Tezuka's similarly cost cutting tactics were less so.

Still, it's difficult to totally hate on Bakshi here. I respect the fact that he was a big name animator trying to pull western animation out of the traditional family genres. I wish there was someone in the west carrying on that tradition today, but I don't think there really is. Maybe Bill Plympton, but he's very underground now. If you look at Pixar and DreamWorks and Disney and compare them to the type of animated films in the past, you might conclude that attempts at pulling animation out of the family friendly genre has largely failed. Frozen's runaway success merely seemed to reinforce the fact that people only want family friendly stories out of their animation--Frozen is nothing if not a throwback to classic Disney fairy tales, except now in CG and even more modern dialogue. I know there are people who always try to read adult "subtext" into modern animation, but these films are by all intents and purposes made to appeal to children and their families, and these are really the only animation that sell these days.

By the way, I've still never seen Fritz the Cat, believe it or not. I heard Robert Crumb hated it.

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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

Post by greg »

Wizards was an interesting movie, albeit maybe a "watch once" movie. The red bounty hunter character was cool. They built up that one character to be super cool (the one voiced by Mark Hamil), and then he dies right away. Weird. So if I remember correctly, some weird wizard tries to take over the world by projecting Nazi war films onto the sky. Pretty weird premise, and the evil wizard is defeated in the end with an extremely non-wizard way. It certainly was "all over the place." It was a nice attempt, though. It has an interesting relationship with Star Wars, too. IIRC, they were released at around the same time, in '77.
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llj
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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

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The red bounty hunter actually dies about 3/4 of the way through the film. The "good" wizard kept him alive/revived him to lead them to the "bad" wizard's lair.

In theory, the story is not bad, but there isn't the feeling of a real quest or journey taking place, when there should be. Contrast that to the Last Unicorn, which executed its quest story far better.

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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

Post by greg »

Gosh, I've never seen The Last Unicorn. I've been meaning to. I remember hearing about it as a kid, but haven't heard of it since then until fairly recently.
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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

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I highly recommend The Last Unicorn. Not only because Topcraft later helped form Studio Ghibli, but the script by Peter S Beagle is really well done too. It actually feels like a real fairy tale, without any of the modern pop culture references that take you right out of a Disney or Dreamworks adaptation of a fairy tale. The only downside I guess is some of the singing sequences (Mia Farrow isn't a great singer), but the songs themselves are actually quite good and full of emotion and melancholy.

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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

Post by Char Aznable »

Ralph Bakshi is a very polarizing director. I know many people either love or hate his work. While I'm not a fan of some of his stuff, I have to admit, Fire and Ice (1983) is an amazing animated film and, quite possibly, his crowning achievement. I dare say it's one of my favorite animated films. It's a sword-and-sorcery tale in the Conan the Barbarian tradition, with character designs by the master himself, Frank Frazetta. The special edition DVD is a must have, it comes with a great feature-length documentary on Frazetta, including his involvement with the film.

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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

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I like Frazetta, but the screenshots for Fire and Ice have held me back somewhat. They looked similar to the stiff looking efforts of Filmation's action cartoons

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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

Post by greg »

I started watching the old X-Men cartoon from the '90s. Did you know there was another X-Men show that predates that one? It was short-lived, revolved around Kitty Pryde, and was the basis for the old X-Men arcade beat-em-up game by Konami.

So anyhow, when the long-running, popular X-Men cartoon was on Saturday mornings, I was already an anime nerd by that time. I tried watching it a few times, but the quality of animation looked so stiff and was not fluid like I was used to anime being (well, to be fair, anime just uses a lot of shortcuts to deceive your eyes with the use of action lines, etc). The animation was on-par with The Tick, which was current then, but I was more willing to forgive The Tick because it was a comedy. Also, I was going through an anti-superhero phase that was mainly colored by my distaste for DC superheroes that continues to this day (Superman needs to just go away). It wasn't until later that I discovered the X-Men. I remember playing X-Men vs. Street Fighter for the first time at a pizza joint and thinking, "Man, if the X-Men cartoon was animated as well as this, I could totally get into it!" I played the game, it introduced me to the characters, and then as time went by, I discovered how far more interesting they are compared to the likes of Superman and Batman.

So a few years ago, I bought the first volume of the X-Men show on DVD. Recently I bought volumes 2 and 3. I finally started watching the first several episodes last weekend. In the first episode, I was thinking, "Who the heck is this 'Morph' guy?" It turns out he was cannon fodder. I was not prepared for this show to involve a character's death. I was expecting it to be more childish than that.

So far, it's an interesting show. I think I may like Wolverine and the X-Men better though, but I like the classic Clairemont character designs. (The CG representations of the characters at the end credits look silly though, like a first-gen Playstation game or something!) I didn't really care for that one X-Men Evolution. I saw an episode or two of that, and I did not like the character designs in it. Can anyone say if that one is any good?
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Re: What non-Japanese animation are you watching?

Post by _D_ »

I'm *trying* to like Star Wars Rebels but its so childish. This is going to be canon for the future?

I dug out some older series like Starship Troopers Roughnecks and Heavy Gear recently. Also watched a bit of Battletech again. Tried watching Transformers as I get that and the all Pokemon channel but ended up watching the 24/7 Futurama, Family Guy and American Dad channels instead. Lots of free stuff on if you have a Roku and the Pear channel for streams. But VLC can also be used for other streams like these ones:

http://channelpear.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=25

Great for cord cutters or expats...

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