Thursday, July 25, 2013

Miyazaki Rises

It's been five long years, but Hayao Miyazaki finally has a new feature coming out (for the record, I *loved* Ponyo). "The Wind Rises," a World War II era drama looking at the production of bombers during the war, took the #1 spot at the Japanese box office this past weekend and is predicted to hit at least $100 million over there, but its drawn some criticism from the conservative Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his fervent supporters as being unpatriotic. Perhaps Miyazaki's comments surrounding the film drew much of the ire saying that he "had a strong feeling in [his] childhood that [Japan] had 'fought a truly stupid war. At a time when social systems and ways of living are going through huge changes, it's impossible for anime alone to remain the same as before and produce fantasies. It is time for us to move into a new direction." At any rate, the new trailer looks beautiful:

Monday, July 22, 2013


This new Fox animation series has ideas to spare AND Nick Offerman in the lead...from the acclaimed webcomic of the same name:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

O'Reilly & Funz

To call animator David O'Reilly's body of work unique is an understatement -- his style is unlike quite like anything else. He embodies an aesthetic that is simultaneously cutting edge and early 90s computer animation; all with a fucked up sense of humor. Describing his filmmaking process with Motionographer, O'Reilly said "I think if you create restrictions, even abstract ones, you’re brain will work harder to overcome them and be creative."

His 10-minute epic "Please Say Something" is a perfect example of this. It is a stripped down, futuristic love story between a cat and a mouse. The film is one of his more successful attempts at narrative:

Please Say Something from David OReilly on Vimeo.

And now for something completely different, also from O'Reilly:

He also does commercial work, believe it or not. Like these concert visuals for M.I.A.:

RyeRye / MIA "Bang" Visuals from David OReilly on Vimeo.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crossover Cred

First talked about here on AA in 2009, Paul Robertson has been chugging along at what he does best -- 8-bit and 16-bit art and animation. He's had quite a bit of crossover success including this animation gig on the recent episode of Disney Channel's Gravity Falls:

Keep up with his latest inventions on his tumblr.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Show Me Your Valve

Valve, the company behind the Half-Life, Portal, and Team Fortress series of video games released their latest promo video for Team Fortress 2 -- amazing that's its still going considering the game was released in October of 2007. The original Team Fortress had a long shelf life too, not to mention games like Starcraft, but it is still a feat. Check out Meet the Pyro:

Valve always has bouncy, fun computer animation in their Team Fortress videos. This one is no exception. That said, Valve's engine is a bit dated by today's standards. That hasn't stopped Shane Acker, director of Focus Features' 9, from making a feature film in the format. The reasoning, I think, being that its much cheaper to use a free engine like that -- he's got a budget of $18.7 million. Check out the ambiguous trailer here:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Next Generation Graphics: E3's Goodies

I can't say I was TERRIBLY impressed by the next-gen tech demos that came out of the Electronic Entertainment Expo this month, but I definitely favor Square's next engine over Epic's Unreal 4 engine, though they're just demos at this point. Here's Square's offering:

And Epic's:

The game with the most exciting graphics and star power, clearly, is the new RPG coming from the makers of Fallout: New Vegas...:

South Park fans everywhere rejoice!

This actually looks like it'll do South Park justice after that awful trio of games released for N64 shortly after the show had started. This was the worst of the three, acting mostly as a Turok: Dinosaur Hunter clone:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

To the Moon and Back: Indie Gaming

Following indie gaming is a recent passion of mine and I find there's some really creative work being done in this field -- story, art, and animation wise. A really affecting game came out late last year and became a critical favorite for its story and style. Some complained about the gameplay aspect and the shortness of the game itself, but it has clearly had an impact. Check out the release trailer for To the Moon:

The designer of the game, Kan Gao, explained that his goal for To the Moon is "to have you play it, watch the ending, and say ‘Wow, that was f-cking satisfying — may I have another?" What a great goal for ANY creative project. The music by Gao himself and composer Laura Shigihara is lush and fantastic for an indie game (or any game) --

I'd love to see what Gao can do with a bit more money. He's already winning "Best Story" awards against titans like Portal 2 and Catherine.

One of the two main designers on To the Moon, Alisa Christopher, is working on a new game series now -- Dr. McNinja's Radical Adventures. Here's some background art she's been developing for that:

You can also see more of her work here.