Monday, December 9, 2013

NOVEMBER 2013: Kiwi!, Get a Horse! and Frozen


Director: Dony Permedi

One of my favorite past times is talking about movies and other stuff during lunch with friends. Then one lunch, we randomly talked about short films and one of my friends recommended "Kiwi!", a computer generated animated creation by an animation student in New York. That's the most interesting about it, actually. It wasn't done by a pro and the animations were okay but this short is very well done. Plus, it's associated with a great thought provoking story. It's about a Kiwi who spends his whole time working on achieving his dream. For a very short film, it was able to show a deep subject in a touching way which for sure would stimulate discussions.

For those who haven't seen it and are interested to watch it, it's only 3:10 short and it's on Youtube.

Get a Horse!

Director: Lauren MacMullan
With: Walt Disney, Marcellite Garner, Russi Taylor, Billy Bletcher, Will Ryan

Get a Horse! is one of the most fun animated shorts I've ever seen. It also helped that it features the 'old-school Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their friends' whom I haven't seen since I was a kid. It has a lot of surprises. Starting off with a Super-8 style black-and-white video, I said to myself, "Hmm this could be the 'The Artist' of shorts" but I forgot that I also said this for The Paperman. :3 Then it morphed into a high definition colored 3-D film which I didn't see coming. They definitely outdid themselves in this one and the kids in the theater sure liked it as loud adorable giggles blasted throughout the theater because of the energetic slapstick gags of this animated short. It's also not devoid of creativity, originality and wit as Mickey and friends play virtually with the audience which for sure brought out the kid in adults like me.

Get a Horse! is a good subsequent from last year's Oscar Best Animated Short, The Paperman and I think this will also have a good chance winning this category just because the role of Mickey Mouse here is voiced by the late Walt Disney through his archival voice recordings. I mean, come on people, this short celebrates the Golden era of animation of past and present. What's not to like?


Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
With: Kristin Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana

2013 has been lackluster in terms of animated films until Frozen came out and everything is different. Critics were raving about it, the kids love it, and even adults enjoyed it. No surprise there as Frozen is complete with great songs and rhythym which pay homage to classic Disney music, iconic characters which adds to the roster of classic Disney prince and princesses and adorable sidekicks who provide the much needed laffos and heart like in any Disney animated film.

Frozen is the tale of two sisters - Anna and Elsa, whom as kids were close but grew up separately in the same kingdom as one tragic incident occurred when Elsa had a mishap with her icy superpower. When Elsa grew not knowing how to control her power, she strucked their kingdom with eternal winter and flee from their community. Anna, teamed up with mountain man Kristoff and met new sidekicks Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer, to find her sister Elsa, and put an end to her icy spell. Then, they battle different obstacles to save their kingdom from destruction.

While I don't really LOVE it, I can't deny how entertaining Frozen is. It has numerous catchy songs that I appreciate with 'For The First Time in Forever' and 'Do You Want To Build a Snowman?' as my personal favorites. I'm actually surprised that Let It Go is the most loved song in it (even my nephew who hasn't seen the film is already singing it) and the one which will probably get an Oscar nod, because it's one of my least favorite songs of the film featured in my least favorite scene too. Let It Go features Elsa singing and morphing into this fierce goddess that she is. But I can't help but laugh at the whole scene because everything about it screams high fashion modelling, from her catwalk to fierce eyes, it just makes me laugh at the whole thing. But that's just me. :3 I'm definitely not a fan of Elsa. I like Anna though. She's a likable, feisty princess with adorable sidekicks. Olaf is so cute and funny which suits the persona of other classic Disney princess companions. I just wish that he served more purpose in the film but he's just the resident comic relief so I guess I just have to accept that.

Personally, The Croods is still my favorite animated film so far this year, I'm still waiting for The Wind Rises and I can't help but compare Frozen with Tangled where the latter, for me, is far superior. I cannot show further through words how much there is to dislike about the film because many people love it anyway. But I have to say that out of all the Disney films I've watched, the twist in Frozen is the twist that I never saw coming. True love has been a constant theme in Disney films and Frozen took a different angle with this theme that I truly appreciate. That, for me, is the most successful aspect of the film. It proves that happily every after doesn't always have to end with a true love's kiss.