Tag Archives: animation

Freak of the Week: Herzog Saves Phoenix

by Tony Nigro

If you haven’t already heard, Werner Herzog saved Joaquin Phoenix from a car accident.  Below is a reenactment.

Via Laughing Squid, where you can also see the interview that spawned the animation.  Did I mention David Lynch was involved?


DVD: Fantastic Mr. Fox

by Tony Nigro

You know things are busy in my real life if I completely neglect mentioning one of my favorite movies of last year, Fantastic Mr. FoxWes Anderson‘s foray into animation only further shows he’s been making cartoons the whole time.  His camera moves, character uniforms, deadpan humor and proscenium composition translate work as well here as in The Royal Tenenbaums.  What you get is stop motion Wes Anderson that’s charming, perverse, and dare I say, acceptable for kids.  But I mean acceptable in the way Ghostbusters was for me when I was eight. It’s funny enough for a kid to follow, and there are new layers for viewers to peel off through adolescence and adulthood.  Mr. Fox has generational lasting power — better than, say, The Wiggles do for anyone over age three.

And it’s real stop motion, with minimal digital interference, allowing for a tactile beauty that’s missing from so much of today’s CG animation — even the most amazing looking, best told stories by Pixar.  When Mr. Fox’s fur ruffles unnecessarily from frame to frame, that’s the touch of a human; when you see a lens flare in WALL-E, it’s a filter applied to mimic that touch.

It’s out now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Freak of the Week: Da Mystery of Chessboxin’

Something wonderful about Internet video is how it has democratized cinema to the point where the plebes can make art (and then be criticized for it in comments sections).  Something wonderful about many American shopping malls are Lego stores.  These places have no doubt helped many a puppet animator working on a shoestring and without proper rights clearance, including the creator of this detailed music video for Wu-Tang Clan’s classic joint, “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’.”

This “freak” is a little different kind for us.  Like old school Wu-Tang, it operates outside mainstream commercial arenas, righteously wearing its creative, DIY energy like a medal of honor.  It’s that same kind of energy that begat online video communities before Brookers, LG15, and Andy Milonakis spoiled it for everyone.