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Month in Review: May 2011

by on 2011/05/31

It didn’t actually begin with the pun “ani-May-tion”.

In a personal fit of premeditation, I compiled lists of movies I intended to review, and then assigned them to an appropriate month of the year. I had eleven groups in total, and May was the last month standing.

Given the past year’s backlog of false starts and unreviewed screenings, it seemed appropriate to designate May a month for spring cleaning.

And then, just very recently, I realized how many of the videos in the May pile were cartoons. This revelation coincided roughly with my reading an article about Terry Gilliam’s favourite animated features. I realized that I already owned many of the works he held in high regard.

But, let’s be honest. Figuring out the pun was probably my personal tipping point.

Here then are my five picks for the month of May’s animation wave: favourites, surprises, disappointments, and least-liked, as well as the movie I’d most like to see based on the estimation of my more animated half.

Favourite Film:
The Iron Giant (1999) on 2011/05/17

“Even those without an affection for the Space Age will find a lot to love here. The Iron Giant is a genuinely affecting work, nearly flawless, and still my favourite.”


Honourable Mention:
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984) on 2011/05/16

Greatest Surprise:
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) on 2011/05/13

“I’ve encountered many complaints about Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, but I can’t say I agree. Its story was fun and involving, with a style that rarely distracted, and never detracted. It pleasantly surprised me overall.”


Most Disappointing:
The Triplets of Belleville (2003) on 2011/05/10

“Triplets of Belleville’s relentless eccentricity never quite negates the boredom.”


Dragonlance: Dragons Of Autumn Twilight (2008)
on 2011/05/04

“Dragonlance is a deeply flawed mess, one better left forgotten.”


Show Me:
Blood: The Last Vampire (2000) on 2011/05/22

“I reviewed the live-action version . . . on this site last year. What began with such promise — Japanese school girls, Samurai swords, ancient evil — ended with the low crumple-crackle of a crappy movie monster made of garbage bags.

“I shook off my disappointment and took heart in the word that the anime version kicked some serious undead ass. And it does.”

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