Vintage Film Update

Vintage Film Update

I finally saw a few standout films from the vault that caught my eye. There will be more I’m sure, I’m so disenfranchised with broadcast television these days (and it seems like I’m not the only one) that I’m giving the film world the respect it deserves.

Everyone’s Hero

First of all, I tracked down a colleague Ryan Smith originally from Toronto who’s now in Singapore doing a great job on the Clone Wars series. I emailed to let him know a film he worked on, Everyone’s Hero, looked really good, and apologized for not seeing it sooner.

He packed up the family and made the big move, really an inspiration for me thinking about doing something similar. Maybe not Singapore (who knows!), but the Toronto VFX scene is more than a little tight right now, plus if I’m going to make a break why not start totally new? The film received mixed reviews and was quickly dismissed. I have to admit seeing it now after the hype surrounding Christopher Reeve’s Directororial debut, I found it to be a lovely film that got a bit lost in the story department, but was beautiful to watch.

More than once, it had the charm of Totoro, but sadly with a storyline that even I was confused by. The one character getting hit in the crotch kept my kids attention, otherwise they would have been lost I’m sure. The story could have been better I suppose, but technically I lost count of all the clever and well designed speaking and walking characters. It’s a standout in art direction in my books. More than a few scenes were gorgeous. Overall, I did enjoy the film.


As an ex-Disney employee I’m not sure how I let Enchanted slip by, but I did and I’m happy to say it was worth the wait. The cel animation at the beginning was so well done, in that it very slightly jabbed at popular style. It was playing fun with itself and even my five year old laughed more than once when things “weren’t quite right”. Then of course it all made sense when everyone ended up in the real world, New York City no less. If you haven’t seen the film and are a fan of the Disney classics, you have to see this one. There are too many visual and sonic puns to recap, it’s truly a goldmine of self-referential humour.

Director Kevin Lima confesses he, “tried to “cram every single piece of Disney iconic imagery” into the first ten minutes”. Laugh out loud for a Disnoid like me.

Standouts for me included the stellar performance of eternally optimistic Amy Adams, and I’m a huge fan of Susan Sarandon.

The closing ‘pop up book’ and stellar closing title sequence was art directed by Lisa Keene and I sent the kids to bed to take in the outstanding work her team put together. It was the most enjoyable use of type I’ve seen in a long time, and perfectly complimented the magical film.

Eagle vs. Shark

This one has been on my list for years and I was happily surprised to find it on pay-per-view this week. There is some really charming claymation in the film that took me totally by surprise, and it tied the film together in the end quite nicely.

But this isn’t a review of the animation, just a solid recommendation for anyone who might enjoy a quirky romance, or New Zealand cinema, or is a fan of “Flight of the Conchords” (the lead actor and one half of the music group kinda look and sound similar) … all of those criteria describe me to a T, so it’s a hit in my books.

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