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"Ultimate Avengers the Movie": Animated Superheroes Grow Up

Fringe projects like the Heavy Metal films aside, mainstream American animation has rarely dared challenge the PG barrier. In a sign that the anime revolution may have at last reached our shores, Ultimate Avengers the Movie boldly tests PG-13 waters with an exciting, intelligent adventure aimed squarely at adult viewers. I can’t tell you how […]

"Initial D": Drifts into Mediocrity

While recent release Memoirs of a Geisha has generated considerable controversy by casting primarily Hong Kong (HK) and Chinese actors in Japanese roles, another 2005 release employing the same strategy has managed to slip beneath the PC police’s radar. Based on the popular racing Japanese anime of the same name, the live action Initial D […]

"Armored Trooper Votoms Stage 1": It's Gundamn Great!

I like to think that I have seen most of the truly great anime sci-fi epics. The latest such epic is Armored Trooper Votoms (1983), a riveting, mature tale of love and war in the distant future. Well, really robots and war, but I didn’t want to lose the female readership this early. Stage 1 […]

Denver Rocked by Anime Civil War

A feud has developed between two Denver anime retailers over the legality of bootleg anime imports. Citing a corresponding loss of sales, Gimme Anime’s Roger Morse reported bootleg seller Animeniacs’ Joseph Henderson to the FBI for intellectual property theft. Local anime convention Nan Desu Kan, enforcing a strict ban on bootlegged products, has blacklisted Henderson […]

"Macross" Volume 1: Robotech-stasy

Let’s just get the embarrassing truth out of the way: as big a Robotech fan as I am, I’ve never seen Macross before. Primarily because I’ve been too cheap to shell out for the rather pricey DVD sets, but also for some more dignified reason to be named at a later date. However, new licensee […]

"Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit": Man's Best (Clay) Friends

With the release of their long anticipated feature film, Wallace and Gromit have undeniably earned a place among the great comedy duos such as Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Regis and Kathy Lee. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was the second stop motion animation film to hit U.S. theaters in 2005, but it […]

"Corpse Bride": Dead and Married

Whilst the animation community has been loudly decrying the seeming demise of traditional 2D animation at the hands of flashy 3D CGI, an even older art form has been slowly gathering new steam. Stop motion, in which physical character models are painstakingly repositioned frame by frame, provided 2005′s two most critically acclaimed animated films, Wallace […]

"The Fuccons": Still-Life "Comedy" is Stillborn

My favorite Japanese comedy programs are so similar to Saturday Night Live that sometimes I forget how bizarre the Japanese sense of humor can get. I was quickly reminded by The Fuccons, one of the most outlandish TV series ever seen on either side of the Pacific. Like many people, I find department store mannequins […]

"Valiant": Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, wait, it's a bird.

What with the overwhelming box office domination of U.S. giants such as Pixar and Dreamworks, it’s easy to forget that animation is a global industry. Even increasingly popular Japanese anime is virtually invisible in theaters. Recently, though, British studio Aardman Animation has begun to make itself heard Stateside, scoring moderate hits with the claymation Chicken […]

"Kronk's New Groove": Yeah, It's Direct to Video -- So What?

The recent onslaught of Disney’s highly profitable direct to video (DTV) sequels to theatrical hits has opted for a vanilla approach, simplifying the music, comedy, animation and action of the originals in the apparent belief that the DTV audience is much younger than the box office crowd. The latest release is Kronk’s New Groove, a […]

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