I'm a huge animation fan. Some of my all-time favorite movies and tv shows are animated, and there's always a couple of cartoons on my Tivo's to do list. This weekend saw a couple of animation related events that I'm excited about.
First, here's the trailer for Ponyo On The Cliff, the latest film by Hayao Miyazaki, which opened this weekend in Japan.
I'm a huge fan of Miyazaki's work, his Studio Ghibli is arguably making the best animation in the world right now (OK, maybe it's tied with Pixar). If you haven't seen any of Miyazaki's work, drop everything, run to your nearest video store, and rent a copy of Spirited Away. Ponyo On The Cliff looks like another great film. I haven't heard when it will be released in the USA, but I'm hoping it won't be too long.
As long as I'm on the subject of animation, the final episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender aired this weekend on the cable channel Nickelodeon. I was out of town, and didn't catch them, but I have them on my Tivo and will finish them soon.
I must admit I'm a total Avatar fanboy. I could go on at length (and have, just ask my friends), but let me just say that it's no hyperbole that Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best animated series in at least a decade, and will likely be considered one of the best animated shows of all time. Trust me, it's that good. I wouldn't have named this blog after it otherwise!
If you haven't seen this show, I can't recommend it highly enough. The animation, writing, and art direction are of a quality rarely attempted in a children's cartoon program. Even the music is exceptional (I'm hoping for a soundtrack cd). Start with the first season, and watch the episodes in order. The story builds over the three seasons, and some of the characters go through significant development as the series progresses.
Avatar wasn't cancelled, by the way. It was planned from the beginning as a three season series with a finite number of episodes.
One more thing: If you haven't yet, go see Wall-E. It's excellent.