Killer Robots and Plastic Hootchies: Summer Cinema Preview
This summer will be a big one for cartoons-- sorry, "animated features". Th etech gets higher and the star power grows with each season, and this summer is no exception: A-list celebrity voices, top-tier animation and rendering techniques, and the de-rigeur product tie-ins. On that last note, the movie that most caught my eye was Bratz, which I know as the hyper-sexualized, hydrocephalic girlie figurines that dominate the girls' aisles in the toy stores. [Okay, so Bratz isn't animated, but work with me here.]
Also jumping from the toy aisle to the 16:9 screen is Transformers, which I hope prove more durable than the toys that my brother and I mercilessly destroyed as children...
On a personal note, I'm most looking forward to Beowulf, which I revere as a brilliant and ahead-of-its-time meditation on honor, responsibility, and familial bonds. With swords. I don't know if the animation style used in Polar Express is the best way of characterizing the frozen north of legend, snow rendering nonwithstanding, but we shall see.
Even if 2006 wasn’t widely considered the best year ever for animated movies creatively, it certainly became a most animated one at the box office.
“Cars,” the latest model from hitmakers Disney-Pixar, finished No. 3 domestically, making $244 million, behind only “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Night at the Museum.” It was one of three animated features roaring into the top 10, including “Happy Feet” ($197.9 million) at No. 7 and “Ice Age: The Meltdown” ($195.3 million) at No. 8.
And then earlier this year “Happy Feet” tap-danced away with the Oscar for best animated feature over “Cars” and “Monster House.”
There were 13 animated movies in the top 100 in ’06. A decade ago Hollywood released only three or four animated features a year.