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Film

Animated 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Is a Pop-Art Masterpiece

Animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse uses unique, groundbreaking animation techniques and engages with the most 'out-there' comic book concepts to tell a hilarious, relatable, timely coming-of-age story

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Books

Nazism Repackaged? A Closer Look at the "Fascist Subtext" of 'Attack on Titan'

Many fantasy writers have incorporated the visual footprint of the Third Reich into their fictional worlds. Few, however, have done so as extensively as the creator of Attack on Titan, who revisited this terrible chapter of history not to find inspiration for a fearsome antagonist, but to excavate the divisive ideas that lay buried there.

Television

'The Simpsons' Plus-Size Marathon Is Aging Me All Over Again

For a show that so cynically pokes holes in the inanities of our plastic, apathetic world, The Simpsons' rough-edged bedrock of brilliantly conceived sentiment can cup a heart without compromising comedic integrity.

Television

In Nickelodeon's 'Rocko's Modern Life', Corporations Steal Our Souls to Enchant Their Commodities

In a society of things, social responsibility requires a recognition of the influence of commodities upon our most foundational spiritual experiences. Nickelodeon's animated series, Rocko's Modern Life, puts it simply.

Television

​Existential Musings and Indigenous Wisdom in Amazon's 'Undone'

Amazon's eight-episode animation, Undone is a poignant reflection on grief, loss, mental illness, and heritage.

Film

'Toy Story 4' and the Consolation of Uselessness

Josh Cooley's addition to the Toy Story universe is injected with something altogether more cosmic in scope than the previous films -- a comedic reverie of all things disintegratory.

Television

The Cost of Comfort: Racial Hierarchies in 'King of the Hill'

At its best, animation comedy show King of the Hill asks, Why are"race" issues in America always about white people?

Television

Lisa Hanawalt's 'Tuca & Bertie' Explores Female Friendships with Raunchy Humor and Compassion

Tuca & Bertie is decidedly female-centric and bold, featuring -- among other things -- a plethora of boobs: boobs on pastries, on plants, and boobs shaking on buildings.

Film

Film Composer Carter Burwell Provides the Missing Link to Chris Butler's 'Missing Link'

Among today's most prolific film composers and a two-time Academy Award nominee, Carter Burwell ventures into animated fare with the Chris Butler's Missing Link.

Television

The Catharsis of the Void in Anime Horror, 'Vampire Princess Miyu'

Within the 26 hard-to-find episodes of Vampire Princess Miyu, there are murders, suicide, and even murder-suicides. There really is something for everyone. So why did it fail?

Books

Hayao Miyazaki's Films Help Us See Ourselves "with Eyes Unclouded"

Japanese Studies scholar Susan Napier's Miyazakiworld reveals an animation auteur with an urgent message to convey about our future -- and ourselves.

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Not (Just) a Laughing Matter: Nuanced Representations of Depression in Three Netflix Sitcoms

One Day at a Time, Bojack Horseman, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt each offer insight and understanding into mental illness quite unlike television shows we've seen before.

Film

Neuroses, Eccentricities, and the Status Quo in Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs'

Visually enchanting and emotionally seductive, Wes Anderson's Japan-set stop-motion adventure marries aesthetic beauty with messy politics.

Television

Outrageousness Takes a Holiday in 'Archer S8: Dreamland'

This may be a clever homage to classic hard-boiled detective fiction from the '40s, but Archer in Dreamland is not the wild man we've come to love/hate.

Film

The Subversive Creativity in Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs'

Wes Anderson has created a powerful (though unassuming) sociopolitical statement about the causes and consequences of segregation.

Film

I See Music: How Oskar Fischinger Influenced Disney

Remember the pre-CGI visual beauty of Fantasia? Fischinger, who also worked with Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, among others, invented the "lumigraph" (a machine for "playing" colors on screen). This guy should be put on a stamp.

Film

'Loving Vincent' Is the "Sincerest Form of Flattery"

Seldom does a biopic about Vincent Van Gogh illustrate the depth of emotion many had for the artist.

Film

Will the Oscars Be a 'Starry Night' for 'Loving Vincent', the First Fully Painted Animation Film?

This unusual rotoscope film captures Vincent van Gogh's art beautifully. But does it capture the mysterious van Gogh himself?

Music

Monogold - "Cinnamon" (video) (premiere)

Strangewave, here we come: Monogold's new video with animation only kids could come up with. Because they did.

Reviews

Animation: It's Not Just for Children, Anymore

The inclusive approach in A New History of Animation will have you discovering the work of new animators, and new works by artists already familiar to you.

Television

The Complex Man Behind "Uncle Walt"

The rise (and rise) of Walt Disney, from starving artist to visionary filmmaker to union-busting studio boss to family-entertainment tycoon.

Film

'I'm Not the Fox I Used to Be': Wes Anderson's Changing Seasons

Far from style over substance, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox fixates over objects to show its protagonist's inability to handle the oncoming winter.

Kia Rahnama
Television

Daley Pearson Gets Some Strange Phone Calls

Australian writer and director Daley Pearson is funny in all of his creations and conquers every type of comedy he tries.

Reviews

'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Is Meta, Funny and Exhilarating

Director Robert Zemeckis explains that Who Framed Roger Rabbit is really "three elaborate films in one": a period live-action movie, an animated movie, and a special-effects extravaganza required to blend the two.

Reviews

Appreciate Life's Wonders: 'Peter Pan: Diamond Edition'

Peter Pan isn’t without its share of criticism, but fans of the classic will be wowed by the beautiful Blu-ray transfer and the respectable stable of new special features not previously available on earlier editions of the film.

Reviews

Seth McFarlane Goes Feature-Length with 'Ted'

Ted is a bit difficult to classify; it’s too raunchy to be a pure rom-com, too brainy to be a raunch-fest, too goofy to be a think-piece, too televisual to be cinematic.

Film

'American Pop'... Matters: Ron Thompson, the Illustrated Man Unsung

More than just a rock performance piece, American Pop is an engrossing drama with a pathos that burns through the animation cells in certain scenes even to this day.

Visual Arts

Animated Inspiration: TV Artist Jean Kang

Like Suzi, the character she drew for Womanthology, Jean Kang tells stories in “her own small way to take a stand against stereotype.”

Reviews

'Animated Films By Karen Aqua': Animated In Every Sense of the Word

Microcinema's collection gives us 13 shorts surveying the breathtaking career of one of America's most talented and respected independent animators.

Reviews

Shorts That Stand Tall: 'Nine Nation Animation'

This is a charming, thoughtfully curated anthology of stylistically diverse international animated shorts.

Books

If at First You Don't Succeed, Failure May Be Your Style: 'The Queer Art of Failure'

Rather than searching for ways around death and disappointment, the queer art of failure involves the acceptance of the finite, the embrace of the absurd, the silly, and the hopelessly goofy.

Reviews

Mischiefmaking in 'Megamind'

Supervillain Megamind finally defeats his nemesis, Metroman and takes over Metro City. Deprived of any challenge, he creates a new opponent and becomes a hero in the process.

Books

'Howl: A Graphic Novel' Wails Brilliantly Into the 21st Century

Eric Drooker expands his artistic interpretation of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl", as featured in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's feature film of the same name, resulting in an inspired graphic interpretation of the influential poem

Reviews

It's Stop-Motion Brilliance From the Low Countries In 'A Town Called Panic'

There's never an attempt to mask nor rationalize the absurdity of this story. Rather, it's a world that's almost infinitely open and flexible, and that operates on its own logic.

Film

'Toy Story 3' and the Best Scene of the Summer

Instead of reviewing the film itself, we focus on a single sequence in Toy Story 3 -- call it the "incinerator stand-off"-- and use it as a means of explaining Pixar's enduring power within the art form.

Reviews

'Mary and Max' Is Better Than 'Avatar' and 'Shrek' Combined

Mary and Max is the irresistible tale of two pen-friends: eight-year-old Australian, Mary and 42-year-old New Yorker, Max. Claymation is at its best in this film which also boasts clever dialogue and off-beat humor.

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