Watching Brave on a mobile phone as a passenger in a moving car was probably not the best way to watch Disney-Pixar’s latest fairy tale, but it was the only chance I’d get to see it. Even so, it was subject to several interruptions as my 13 month-old tried to pull the phone out of my hand.

The other film I’d rented through Google Play was the British animation, Arthur Christmas, and the difference in quality was remarkable: this is how the professionals do it.

The first, biggest, most obvious thing about Brave is that it is astonishingly beautiful. The lush colours, the realistic water animations, the sheer spectacle of the Scottish countryside – which is as much Brave‘s headline star as New Zealand toplined Lord of the Rings. The obligatory princess, Merida, is breathtaking, too – her hair deserves a movie of its own. Or perhaps this is it.

Brave: a movie about really luxuriant coppery tresses.  Continue reading

7 of the most unspeakably infuriating videos ever

I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive Him Indoors for bringing this to my attention. I’ll grudgingly admit that the video is clever, but the song is awful, they look simply ridiculous and that missing apostrophe is driving me nuts.

Someone should send this to Einsturzende Neubauten and tell them “this is your legacy”. But I quite value my life so it won’t be me.  Continue reading

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Beauty and the Beast

Until 2009’s Up, only one animated film in the history of cinema had ever been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

Released 20 years ago this year, Beauty and the Beast was Disney’s 30th animated feature (this year’s Tangled is its 50th). It was actually something they’d been thinking about for years, but didn’t really know how to make it, especially with the technology they had to hand. To remind you, this is what 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs looked like:

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I’ve got my head turned away so nobody can see the tears rolling down my cheeks. A shy little boy has met fellow adventure enthusiast Ellie, and dreamt of following in the footsteps of explorer Charles F Muntz in South America. Carl has married Ellie, held her as she cried because they couldn’t have children, and grown old with her. Year by year, their dreams to visit Paradise Falls have faded. Finally a widower, Carl is an elderly curmudgeon.

It’s about ten minutes into the film, and I’m devastated. I’ve also laughed out loud twice already.

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Disney’s Fantasia – the best bits

I was just flicking through clips on YouTube and really enjoying some of the sounds of my childhood, courtesy of a cartoon mouse with a really f***ed up idea of what ‘toons should go with which tune.

Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was a literal riot when it came out: apparently it spawned the first mosh pit or something *cough*. Anyway, it kicks so much ass that a number of my favourite rock acts have been sampling the s*** out of it ever since.

So what does the House of Mouse do? Stick this 1913 slab of badassery to a visual of dinosaurs – because nothing is as cool as dinosaurs, right? Dinosaurs … um … dying in agony.

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