Movie Talk on Sunday: Animation…

I like movies, I like talking about movies and I like interesting new experiences. I decided, therefore, to finally join in with Movie Talk on Sunday which occurs online every Sunday night at 20.00 GMT. The deal is this: cinephiles of the Twittersphere all follow the #MTOS hashtag and engage in the conversation around one pre-set film-related topic as they answer 10 questions. Having hung back observing other excellent people I follow play the game I decided it was high time I got involved. With this week’s theme being ‘animation’ – a film form I’m particularly enthusiastic about – it seemed an ideal jumping-on point.

For posterity and in case they’re of interest to anyone, below I’ve listed the questions and my own personal responses with relevant links and fancy-pants annotations. It’s also probably worth noting that I was thinking specifically about ‘traditional animation’ and not all-CGI films or stop-motion/claymation. That opens up a debate in itself but, hey, back to talking Disney standards and Studio Ghibli in under 140 characters…

1. If you were an animated Disney character who would you be?

I think I’d like to be Rafiki from The Lion King. Wise simian shaman of the Pride Lands…

2. What do you think about the misconception of animation being for kids?

Why should ‘kids’ get all the fun? And are you letting these kids watch Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Persepolis, etc., etc.? (Thinking about it later I realised that Persepolis is actually a suitable film for children. In a similar vein, stuff like Waltz With Bashir probably isn’t.)

3. Which live action film would you like to see an animated version of and why?

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari or Nosferatu redone as an animation would be beautiful. Expressionism going back from film into art!

4. Which animated film would you like to see a live action version of and why?

I’d love to see Porco Rosso as a live-action feature… with Ron Perlman in pig-head make-up as Porco

5. What is your favourite Studio Ghibli movie and character?

So hard picking a favourite Studio Ghibli film. I think I’ll say Spirited Away with the Tanuki of Pom Poko as fave characters…

6. Do you think the voice of animated characters make a difference to how we view them? (Especially if voiced by famous actors.)

Usually, no problem but if an A-list cast is a priority over art and story then there’s an issue. Less famous voice actors needed…

7. What is your favourite film which combines live action and animation?

It’s a brutal fistfight/dance-off between Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks

8. Fairytales associated with Disney animation have been appearing on our screens in dark live action versions. Which should be next?

Imagine a dark, bitterly beautiful adaptation of The Steadfast Tin Soldier and cry your eyes out all night…

9. What is your first memory of an animated character that scared you?

The whole Pleasure Island ‘boys turned into donkeys’ trip in Pinocchio scared me stupid as a child (and still does now)…

10. In the style of Avengers Assemble… choose 5 animated characters for your ultimate version of an Animated Assemble!

The Iron Giant, Paprika, The Illusionist, Robin Hood the Fox and Gaston. My Animated Avengers: eclectic and invincible…

And that’s that. Beyond the interesting exercise of thinking up your own responses it’s fascinating to see what others say and gauge the range of opinions, resonant memories and, overall, the mass passion for film. I recommend the exercise and had a blast with #MTOS so will be back in the future. I’d encourage other film fans bored who find themselves bored on a Sunday night to join in the fun…

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