Things Kids from the 80s Can Only Remember

The Muppet Babies….I do not know… Apparently people argue that they were better than Arthur. I would have to disagree.

That Muppet Babies is greatest cartoon of all time (sorry, Rugrats ).

He-Man and She-Ra. They are brother and sister but people thought they were sucha hot couple together….interesting.

Even though they were brother and sister, you thought He-Man and She-Ra made a hot couple.

Th Cosby Show. One of the best TV shows ever. This one is not all about the 80s kids. I think many people know this one. Great great show!

"Must-see TV" meant The Cosby Show .

This one is very sad. But remembering where you were when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. This is very similar to the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1st, 2003 when it exploded on re-entry.

Remembering where you were when the Challenger disaster happened.

The caption where is got this picture of the Breakfast Club, reads, “Trying to be as cool as the teens in John Hughes Movies.” Right on with this one. John Hughes movies, especially teen movies were great, really entertaining. I would be lying if I said I did not have interest in watching more of his films.

Aspiring to one day be as cool as the teens in John Hughes movies.

Pop Star movement. yup, defiantly do not remember this. Probably would not have taken notice or part of it anyways. Haha

Being either "Team Cyndi" or "Team Madonna."

The original Transformers Movie. So apparently Optimus Prime dies in this movie. Yeah I feel bad for the kids in the 80s who had to see this. He is such a boss. He saves the day in all the transformer movies nowadays! Cannot believe he died in this movie!

The emotional blow you felt when Optimus Prime died in The Transformers: The Movie .

The collecting of Garbage Pail Kids….what? I think it is a good thing that this only lasted for a short time in the 80s…

The joy of collecting Garbage Pail Kids and putting the stickers on your bedroom wall.

Hahaha this one made me laugh. I think this personifies the 80s for kids today and what our perception is. When i think of the 80s, I think of neon colors and outfits that make you stand out. Well, here it is. the neon biker or leggings that girls wore to school.

That it’s perfectly acceptable to wear neon spandex biker shorts with just a T-shirt to school.

Continuing the trend of 80s clothing, the pegs on your jeans. A staple in the 80s and still is today for kids who try to replicate that.

Taking that little extra time in the morning to get the perfect peg on your jeans.

 

Hiyao Miyazaki in the 1980s

File:Hayao Miyazaki.jpg

Hiyao Miazaki has maintained an influential career as a film director, animator, manga artist, illustrator and producer across six decades. His skills and success have earned him comparison to Walt Disney, Nick Park and Steven Spielberg. Alongside  Isao Takahata, Hiyao Miazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli (April 1985), his film and animation studio. Through his talent and animation studio he has become one of the most famous and influential of all animators (and my personal favorite). Today, I will be looking at some of his works that he did during the 1980s — A time period that resulted in several of his greatest works.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

This film is considered one of his greatest works by many. It paved the way for the themes which appear in many of his films such as concern for the environmental, aviation and anti-military messages. It also is considered a precursor for another one of his greatest films, Princess Mononoke. Also, it is important to point out the almost dream-like images that appear in all of his films as a result of the peculiar creatures and fantastical occurrences.

Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

This is his first film that he made with Studio Ghibli. It is focused around two orphans who go on a magical journey to Laputa, a magical land in the sky, in search of their parents. Once again this brings into play his fascination with flight which is intertwined into an incredible mythical story line.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

In My Neighbor Totoro, two little girls move to a new home and befriend the forest spirits. This is another very famous film of Hayao Miyazaki. Many of the images from this movie have become iconic Such as this one where the little girls are waiting with the forrest spirit at the bus stop:

Kiki´s Delivery Service (1989)

Finally, this was the last of the 1980s films that Hiyao Miyazaki produced and my personal favorite as a child. This is the enchanting story of Kiki, a young, charming witch finding her place in the big city.

 

What makes all of these films so wonderful is the fanciful aspect to them. Anything can happen in a Hiyao Miyazaki film. Also, they are just so beautifully animated that is impossible not to enjoy them just on the basis of the artwork alone. In a variety of ways, Hiyao Miyakazki is one of the most brilliant film makers of not just the 1980s, but in history as well.

 

 

Ranking: Best of 1980s Disney

Here is my ranking of the Top 6 Disney movies of the 80s.

1. The Little Mermaid (1989)

This musical is one that any little girl will recommend to you. “Part of Your World” and “Under the Sea” are just a few of many classic disney songs. A love story for the ages, this movie is magical in every sense of the word. Fun Fact: This movie was first Disney movie to feature a song with steal drums.

LISTEN HERE

2. Tron (1982)

A personal favorite of mine. Sci-fi classic, perfect for video game-loving kids and adults who are also into computers. The 2010 remake with Jeff Bridges is also worth watching! Fun Fact: Tron was one of the first movies to make extensive use of any form of computer animation.

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3. Oliver & Company (1988)

In this classic, a homeless kitten named Oliver joins a gang of dogs to survive on the 1980s New York City streets. The scenes with humans feature some interesting fashion styles and a backdrop of NYC. Fun Fact: Oliver & Company was the first animated Disney film to include real world advertised products (product placement!).

4. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

This mystery film is unique and the classical narrative piano pieces richen the adventure that detective Basil of Baker Street and his trusty sidekick Dawson endure. Based on the great detective Sherlock Holmes, Basil will win you over with his charming and witty banter. Quoted to have the “best villainous breakdown ever”. Fun Fact: The main character was named after actor Basil Rathbone, who was renowned for portraying Sherlock Holmes in the 1940s.

5. The Black Cauldron (1985)

I was always sad that Princess Eilonwy was never considered a real Disney princess, however she still gave me unrealistic expectations for my hair. A little darker than most disney films, this movie is a magical world. Some parts remind me a lot of Lord of the Rings, but in child version. Fun Fact: It’s one of the only Disney movie not rated for all-ages.

Honey-I-Shrunk-The-Kids-pic-honey-i-shrunk-the-kids-30912384-1280-8426. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

I hoped that the premise of this movie would become reality, and that world hunger could be ended by shrinking everyone in the world down to the size of a penny. Unfortunately, my dream has yet to come true but this movie is a baby-sitting classic. I am fan of the Giant Ant named Antie that saves Ross Jr and Amy. Fun Fact: The film was largely influenced by 1957 sci-fi film The Incredible Shrinking Man, starring Grant Williams.

HONORABLE MENTION: The Land Before Time (1988)

The tree stars are just simple beautiful. Takes be back to a pre-historic time.

Edit: The Land Before Time was actually distributed by Universal Pictures, but with executive producers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas working closely together, the movie is an instant classic.

Pee Wee Herman: Who is he?

Pee Wee Herman. Who know that he could actually mean so much to life and little kids. I always thought that it was for comedic purposes and just pure entertainment but nope, not that case. In his show, Pee Wee Herman helps teach kids with helpful life lessons. Pee Wee Herman’s character helps teach these lessons through his character demeanor and humor. Along with this Pee Wee helps spark creativity and imagination from kids. Some things that go unnoticed is that Pee Wee Herman is also very popular with adults and grown ups. First started in 1986 with CBS, those in their late thirties and early forties still enjoy this show today.

Along with his show, Pee Wee Herman has and interactive website that allows you to explore his playground and learn about things that he has in his house and what he wants you to learn. Merchandise is also a huge factor in Pee Wee Herman as you can buy shirts, Christmas tree ornaments, hats, DVDs, books, buttons, and lots lots more.

An interesting side of Pee Wee Herman is that his age has never been stated. Throughout the TV series and movies, he is portrayed as a grown man but has stated in interviews that he is the “luckiest boy in the world.” He acts childish, cheerful, and flamboyant but he also portrays and evil side that makes us question his age. We see this evil side when he has the pool battle with Francis in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. e also played vengeful tricks in the aforementioned film and occasionally threw childish tantrums on Pee Wee’s PlayHouse.

So the question is, with what you know and how Pee Wee is portrayed. Is Pee Wee Herman suppose to be a child or a grown man?

Check out Pee Wee’s website:

http://www.peewee.com/

Who did it? Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Who did it!? This is a great movie that I think that everyone should see in his or her lifetime! I thought that I saw this, but watching it I only saw the iconic scenes in commercials and on different television shows. A culmination of cartoon and real life picture, Roger Rabbit is the goofy cartoon character that is the most popular in the Maroon Cartoon toon department. His wife is Jessica Rabbit who is the sexy character that everyone is in love with and does not know why she is with Roger.

The Maroon Cartoon Studios is in Hollywood, which uses the toons, but suddenly Marvin Acme who is the practical jokester owner of Toontown and the Acme Corporation dies and no one knows where his will is and the cartoon characters do not know what is going to happen to them. Roger gets the help from a private investigator a guy named Eddie Valiant to see if Jessica is having an affair. Eddie shows pictures of Jessica playing patty-cake with Acme and Roger gets so distraught that he runs off, leaving everyone to think that he killed Acme. Cloverleaf Corporation are the bad people which are after the toons and want to take over eventually wiping out the toon population with Doom as the leader. Eddie goes after Roger to find him and clear his name, also exposing Doom as a carton character. Eddie the entire time did not like the toon characters because his brother was killed in a toon fight a few years ago, but after helping Roger he has faith in the toons again.

This movie has the toon aspect for the younger audiences, but also has the real-life actors and cinematic part for the older audiences. It has everything for everyone in this movie, a murder mystery, a love story, and a movie about a friendship. It relates to everyone. The only scene that I remember seeing as a young child and still now that is creepy to me is when Eddie is in Toontown and thinks that Jessica Rabbit is in the room changing and he is watching her. He opens to the door to find this very creepy woman who has big lips, freckles, huge feet and is just ugly and chases him. I remember seeing that scene when I was little and it scared me to death! Other than that, it is a good movie for everyone and I think that everyone would like it. It is a toon movie so to me they are really timeless, like Mickey Mouse, they do not age much. I recommend this movie to anyone that wants to see a toon related comedy movie.

The creepy Lena Hyena.

“Dogs are naturally good and loyal and kind.”

Dogs! Everyone loves them, or almost everyone, at least, so it makes sense that Don Bluth would make them the subject of yet another of his animated films. These cute, furry animals are all noble and loyal and lovable, right? WRONG! If you’re looking for a movie that revolves around innocent house-pets living innocent house-pet lives, this isn’t the movie for you.

This movie follows the events that unfold after a gangster Pit Bull/Bulldog mix named Carface (play on the name Scarface, of course) gets his partner, Charlie B. Barkin (a German Shepherd and the main character of the film) thrown in the pound so that he won’t have to share the profits of their joint-venture casino. When Charlie escapes, Carface takes immediate action and has his drunk, unsuspecting partner run over with a car. Charlie dies, goes to Heaven, and then returns to earth to get revenge on Carface – all within the first twenty minutes of the film! As if this weren’t enough, we have orphan Anne-Marie who is pining away for loving parents, thrown into the mix… Remind me again how this is a children’s movie?

Gangster Carface Carruthers with his ever-present cigar…

I can still remember watching this as a child. I was maybe six or seven, and most of this movie went completely over my head. I didn’t understand the dark references to ‘Death row’ and to the gambling that was going on at the rat races. All I knew was that I wanted a dog like Charlie – despite the fact that he steals from people and uses an orphan girl to get an unfair edge at races – and that I was thoroughly scared ****less with his imagined trip to Hell.

See Charlie’s face? That’s what I looked like when I watched this as a kid…

Now, as an older viewer, I find that the thing that sets Bluth’s movies apart from Disney movies is their overall dark nature. In two of his other movies of the 80s – The Land Before Time (88) and An American Tail (86) – which are also childhood favorites of mine, he deals with other heavy issues, such as the death of a parent and the plight of immigrants. To go along with these somber plots, Bluth employs a somber color-palette. In All Dogs Go to Heaven, this actually works exceedingly well, given that many of the settings are foggy piers, rust-filled junkyards, and even an abandoned church – I cannot imagine this movie having the happy-go-lucky hues of a Disney flick.

As with any children’s movie, however, there is always some positive message to derive from it. In All Dogs go to Heaven, we see that Charlie does eventually redeem himself, and we learn a little something about loyalty, friendship, and change along the way.

“I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!”

Imagine you’re on a date and just leaving the midnight showing of Skyfall. It’s dark, cold, and you’re walking to your car. As the crowd disperses, a few men start walking behind you as you walk across the empty parking lot. As you get closer and closer to your car, you notice the group is walking faster and getting awkwardly close to you two and your car is the only one is sight. As you go to open the door they push you against the car and demand for you money and pull out a knife. You fumble and pull out your cash, dropping it on the ground. There’s a whoosh of material and sound of struggle. You look up and the thieves are on the ground writhing in pain. You notice in the corner a dark figure and you lock onto eye starring back at you. You turn your head to look at your date and next thing you know, whatever was there is gone. Could it be? Is it really? I had to be… Batman…

Batman originally appeared in the 1930’s and was known to have the comedic “BOOM! POW” with Adam West. Tim Burton’s Batman now takes a darker spin filled with Prince being played in the background and sets up the Batman Anthology that ran into the late 90’s.

If you’re looking to find the backstory of how Batman is developed, this isn’t the movie for you. You are immediately immersed into action with the bad guys fearing “The Bat!”

Bruce Wayne may look like a pushover, but rest assured, this glasses wearing, tuxedo sporting millionaire has deep hatred in his blood for those evil-doers and his solution is a  glove covered back fist! Played by Michael Keaton, who starred in Gung Ho and was fresh from another famous Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice, had the right attitude and innocence to pull of the role.

Jack Napier, who is turned into Joker, is played by Jack Nicholson. Being known more for his role in The Shining, Nicholson is able to play the nuisance role superbly

Accompanied by the BEAUTIFUL Vicky Vale, Kim Basinger, this movie is able to not only pit Batman versus Joker to save Gotham, but the damsel in distress. Just like all the movies from the 80’s, this one has the potential to make your night at home just as nostalgic.

Make sure to check this out and see what inspired the Batman Animated Series.

 

The Last Unicorn

 

Yes, I did decide to write a blog on a movie called The Last Unicorn. And in my opinion, if you haven’t seen this lost gem of a children’s movie, you probably should. It has fallen prey to the classic disease that seems to kill many an animated, kid-friendly movie:  it wasn’t made by Disney.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching, however. In fact, I found this movie to be surprisingly enjoyable due to its striking animation and engaging story. The film is based on a novel by Peter Beagle, and centers around a unicorn, supposedly the last of her kind, and her quest to find others like her. She is transformed into a human by a fumbling magician and falls for a young prince. Seems like your average fairy-tale movie, right? WRONG.

The animation of the movie enhances its fairy-tale plot-line. The colors vary depending on the mood of the scene—they are vibrant and rich during scenes in the forest and dark and ominous during scenes involving the host of evil that plagues the unicorn protagonist.

The level of dark imagery and mentioning of black magic was surprising for a children’s movie, especially considering its marginal popularity—it supposedly grossed around six million in theatres.  Similar to the problem which plagued the Disney miss The Black Cauldron—which terrified children and made parents uncomfortable—the dark imagery in the Last Unicorn tended to go over the heads of young children. The scene which takes place in the dilapidated gypsy fair perfectly depicts this age-inappropriate grimness. The images of abused animals in small cages, being manipulated and used to trick passersby and make money seems a bit mature for your average Disney baby.

Other somewhat mature themes prevail in the movie. Nudity during the transformation scene—I’m talking bare butt here too, not just conveniently placed hair strands—as well as the non-traditional ending of the film likely contributed to its overall lack of renown.  Instead of the average, “let’s run off together into the sunset in a cloud of happiness,” shenanigans, Amalthea (the unicorn) and Prince Lir must go their separate ways.

The film also contains a surprising message of feminism. Not only does Amalthea single-handedly battle the fearsome and evil Red Bull and free thousands of captive unicorns, but she also leaves the man she loves in order to establish a home for the other unicorns.

Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf seemed to place itself entirely on the humorous side of the werewolf genre, both with its special effects—or lack thereof—and target audience of insecure teenagers.

First of all, this entire movie seemed like a fairly obvious metaphor for puberty. The main character, Scott, is a young, somewhat shrimpy teenage boy with no athletic or romantic skills, but who still holds high aspirations just as any other desperate want to be in a teen flick does. His aspirations are entirely predictable, as is the line-up of characters presented in the film. He wants to win the affections of the typical, clearly vapid popular girl (because, hey, she’s blond, and she has that sweet 80s coif going on) be a part of the cool crowd, and become suddenly and inexplicably awesome at basketball.  Of course, this being a metaphor for puberty, our poor protagonist must go through some—ahem—awkward changes in order to win the girl and the game. Scott’s werewolf transformation is done in a way which reflects the reaction any uninformed teen would have upon witnessing sudden changes in their body. This metaphor is further emphasized by the usage of the concerned father figure, claiming he understands what his son is going through—which, in this case, he does, because he’s also a werewolf.

I found that the adherence to the stereotypical teen-movie plot line cheapened what could have otherwise been made into a more serious movie. The fact that Scott was a werewolf almost seemed to become completely forgotten in the host of adolescent antics that ensued—house parties, seven minutes in heaven, demonstrations of teenage idiocy, car surfing, and muddling around with fake IDs. Instead of focusing on his identity as another species, the film focuses instead on his personal identity, and his quest to find typical teenage balance between popularity and his true self. Honestly, they probably could have filmed the whole movie without even adding any werewolf elements and it would have been nearly the same.

Aside from the plot of the movie I found I also had issues with the physical werewolf transformation. Maybe I’m biased toward the more serious werewolf films, but in my opinion, it’s extremely difficult to make a transformation look passable unless a combination of CGI and physical special effects, with a few notable exceptions. One of the best werewolf transformations is, in my opinion, Professor Lupin’s transformation in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban, which used both CGI and advanced make-up techniques. Movies which rely too much on CGI often end up looking obviously abnormal—I mean more abnormal than an enormous wolf-man—such as those used in Van Helsing. On the other hand, the more computer animation is used, the more fluid a transformation can become. However, there are some examples of excellent and believable werewolf transformations which were created before the dawn of CGI. Wolfman—not the 2010 version—used solely make-up and a whole lot of takes in order to create a sort of elapsed time werewolf transformation, which seems entirely more believable than that of Teen Wolf, which was filmed nearly fifty years later.

Joker V Joker V Batman

I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to watch this…I feel like I have let the entire fandom down. I have been a fan of Batman since I was a young boy, through the animated series.

More recently I have found a love for the comic medium (holistically) and even more recently a love for the Batman comics. Especially those that involve the Joker. To me, The Joker is an incredibly complex character, despite the seemingly chaotic nature of his character. And, because of this, he is the focus of this article.

The Joker is one of those characters that has captured the imagination of comic book writers everywhere. Writers from Frank Miller to Neil Gaiman have tried their own personal brand of The Joker and his unending rivalry with Batman. You love to despise him, and at times find yourself almost rooting for him.

The Joker spent most of his life delighting comic book readers, but has been brought into the mass of our generation through Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight, with the award winning portrayal by Heath Ledger.

But I find myself, a fan of the comic book Joker, appreciating Tim Burton’s take on the character more than Nolan’s (which is really saying something, because I love Nolan as a director and love the Dark Knight). Burton’s Joker (portrayed by Jack Nicholson)  was more well rounded. An enemy created by Batman. A straight laced gangster, through and through. The peak of elegance, which brilliantly juxtaposed the unease of his mind. Compare that to Nolan’s Joker who is as slobbish as he is deranged. Before you even really know who he is, you know that he is insane.

But, perhaps, the biggest difference is seen in these following clips:

Jack Nicholson Joker

Heath Ledger Joker

While I don’t think anyone will ever argue that Ledger’s performance was not the better PERFORMANCE of the two, the writing fell flat. Nolan’s Joker was a madman with make-up. Burton’s was a masterful killer clown. Nolan’s Joker lost the humor. There was no laughter or joy in Dark Knight. But in Batman, you see the Joker pulling pranks. Albeit, insane pranks. But that is what the comic book villain is all about. The joy. The insanity.

That is not to say that I agree with everything that Burton did with The Joker in Batman. Burton changed the background of the characters to say that the Joker, while he was still Jack Napier, killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. This changes the entire point of Batman to a story of revenge, instead of the traditional dark guardian propelled out of his misery. This choice made no sense, but is not really representative of the Joker.

That is not to say that Dark Knight is not a good film. In fact, it’s probably the stronger film of the two. While I did enjoy Burton’s Batman, the plot was lacking intensely, the characters weren’t nearly as developed as they should have been, and there was perhaps a bit too much camp. It was quintessential bad eighties. But it was a fun ride, and if you are a fan of the Joker, it is a MUST.

But for my money, the best Joker award still goes to Mark Hamill:

Mark Hamill Joker

“I’m not bad… I’m just drawn that way.”

Today I watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for the first time ever, and I have to say, I’m glad I did so!

Growing up, I had often heard people mention this film, so I had a general idea of what to expect… I knew that the movie revolves around a murder that occurs in a world in which cartoons and people coexist, and I imagined that the effects would look something like those in Mary Poppins – great for the time period, yet outdated for me. Boy, was I wrong! The special effects in this film were great! So great, in fact, that at first I thought that the film wasn’t made in the 80s at all and that I had made a mistake. From start to finish, the interaction among the toons and the “real” actors was seamless! What’s more, the toons interact with their environment, as well, which also served to heighten the sense of reality – Roger Rabbit picked up real plates, the weasels held real guns, Jessica tugged on Ed Valiant’s tie… This list goes on and on.

But, to return to the plot, the movie follows Detective Eddie Valiant, an (at first glance) unsuccessful private investigator who makes his living spying for others. He hates toons with a passion, yet as the film advances, he finds himself trying to prove Roger Rabbit innocent in a murder he was framed for. Fighting him is the evil Judge Doom, who delights in subjecting toons to ‘the Dip’ and who tries everything in his power to capture Roger.

However, the character that attracted my attention the most was Jessica Rabbit, Roger’s cartoon human wife. No, it was not her glamorous red dress or her insanely impossible curves that fascinated me. It was simply the fact that her character is the only one that I had trouble defining as either good or evil. She kept me guessing the entire time! At some points, I was 100% sure that she was in cahoots with Judge Doom and that she had framed her husband. At others, I was convinced that she was a loving wife and she wanted to protect Roger. While I puzzled over her morality, she delivered my favorite line of the movie: “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.” This quote was loaded with significance for me. It made me realize just how much influence movie directors and/or animators have over our perceptions. They are ultimately the ones who steer our opinions of characters. In this particular case, they wanted us to think that Mrs. Rabbit was evil, only to shatter that same illusion in the end!

Overall, I found that this original combination of animated comedy and film noir worked incredibly well! The animation brought humor to what would otherwise have been another dark mystery film; I would definitely recommend it – if not for the plot, for the wonderful special effects displayed.

Detective Eddie Valiant and the mysterious Jessica Rabbit

A Lamp. A Vacuum. An Electric Blanket. A Radio. And A Toaster That Happens To Be Brave.

I’ll admit it. I didn’t know. I had no idea. In my entire life, I never even bothered to watch this movie… even though it apparently is Disney. WHAT IN THE WORLD.

The cast.

I’ve heard a lot about this film and that it fits in line with the classic 90’s kids films like The Land Before Time and Fergully. If you’re unfamiliar with the plot, here’s a quick recap from Wiki:

Five appliances — a radioRadio (Jon Lovitz); a lampLampy (Tim Stack); an electric blanketBlanky (Timothy E. Day); a vacuum cleanerKirby (Thurl Ravenscroft); and a toasterToaster (Deanna Oliver) — live in an vacant cabin located in the countryside. Each day they await their “Master”, a child whom they have not seen for many years, with a growing sense of abandonment. The Master, whose name is revealed to be Rob (Wayne Kaatz), lives in an apartment as a young adult and is about to depart for college. The Master leaves with his girlfriend Chris (Colette Savage) to head back to the cabin to pick up the appliances to take with him. The modern electronics in the apartment become disappointed and jealous. When the appliances arrive at Rob’s apartment, the modern appliances convince them that they are outdated and unusable, tossing them into the garbage, where they are shortly transported to Ernie’s Disposal, a junkyard.At the junkyard, the appliances lose hope and put themselves at the mercy of a giant magnetic crane that picks up junk and places it on a conveyor belt that leads into a car crusher.After being thwarted several times, the evil magnetic crane picks up Rob himself as well as the appliances, except for Toaster, and drops them on the compactor’s conveyor belt. In a climactic act of self-sacrifice, Toaster leaps into the compactor’s drive gears and stops the machine from destroying all of the appliances and Rob. Rob returns to the apartment with all of the appliances in tow, including a now mangled Toaster. Rob repairs the Toaster and takes all of them to college with him.

 

If you looked at that and said, “No way I’m reading that.” Here’s what you should take away from it: Treat your appliances nicely. They may just end up saving you.

While this movie is definitely catered towards a younger audience, in terms of film making it’s definitely really nice animation. With a fairly lackluster cast and an incredibly short theatrical lease, it’s surprising that so many people know this film.

One element that is interesting about the film is the character of the Toaster. Toaster, is never given a gender and it’s voice could slide either way. I think this is a wise choice because it doesn’t create an “audience” for the film. For example, the audience for The Little Mermaid is primarily young girls and for young boys Transformers. In both instances, the title characters are gendered toward their respective audiences. In this case though, there’s no audience pre-determined. It’s almost as if the film makers were trying to say, “this film is for everyone.” And really it could be. Like many children’s films,  it teaches the value of working together and respecting each other’s differences. It’s not particularly funny or filled with things only adults would get, in fact, it’s pretty pure.

According to a post last month, Toaster’s endearing qualities may just be leading it to a CGI reboot. Check out the link and find out how soon you may be watching a 3d Toaster and friends on the silver screen thanks to John Lasseter and the people at Pixar.

“Brave Little Toaster” To Get CGI Reboot

Akira

According to the internet and every anime otaku I’ve ever met at a convention, Akira (1988) was the animated film that launched a generation of the popular Japanese genre, giving way to the iconic works of directors such as Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke), and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell).  Akira also went so far as to influence the style of live-action movies produced in America–The Matrix found its dystopian footing and famed visuals by leaning on Akira’s success.

The plot of Akira centers around a teenage biker gang whose favorite pastime is to terrorize the streets of post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo, a city rebuilt from the ashes of World War III. The unsuspecting bikers somehow find themselves at the center of a top-secret government research project: experimenting with the psychic powers of higher beings known as espers.  One of the gang, Tetsuo, is discovered to have powers similar to the all-powerful esper known simply as Akira. Most of the film centers around Tetsuo’s struggle to maintain both his identity and his sanity as his powers–enhanced by government researchers using drugs–grow increasingly potent.

The animation itself is reason enough to invest a couple of hours in watching the movie–it was, to put it plainly, far ahead of its time. The visuals are particularly striking in the motorcycle chase scenes–in which the tail-lights stream behind the bikes in a very Tron-esque, eighties fashion–and in the hospital escape scene that has become famous among anime fans. (Come on guys, if Kanye West re-vamps the hospital scene in his “Stronger” video, you know it’s pretty popular.) As for the plot, well, let’s just say that if you aren’t accustomed to anime films–not animated, anime–you will probably be a little confused throughout this one. Although the film does concentrate on the effects of nuclear war–a popular topic during the Cold War era of the 1980s–and the consequences on a society when its government fails, it goes about it in a very disjointed, twisted, and trippy Japanese fashion that first time anime-watchers might find a tad bewildering.

All in all, Akira changed the face of animation in Japan and America–making the genre far more accessible and exciting than it had ever been before.