Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Tag

A wide variety of topics   Leave a comment

First of all, there’s a new Animator vs. Animation!

Second of all, tonight is the night I give my notice at Target. I had to re-take my drug test at Harris Teeter (clerical error — funny story, kinda) and I told the hiring manager that I hadn’t given my two weeks yet because I was waiting on the results of the drug test. She told me that if I was confident that I’m going to pass the test, then I should go ahead and give my notice. So I will. I feel nervous.

Third of all, whenever I work at Petsmart I keep thinking of all the pets I could have. I keep thinking, I know how to take care of animals. I bet I could make a really good cat owner, and that cat would be so happy! Or today I spent a lot of time planning out a non-filtered betta tank. I’d use a 2.5 gallon aquarium, and the only hardware would be a heater and an air pump (so the water isn’t still all the time). I found some silk plants that are $1.99/piece. The total cost would be about $60, all told. I would probably take out about a half-gallon every day so the ammonia doesn’t build up.

Of course, with $60, I could pay off some of my student loans, or buy a copy of the Sims, or something more useful than having yet another animal that doesn’t interact with me all that much anyway. A lot of adulthood seems to be wanting something but knowing that you shouldn’t, so you don’t, but openly admitting that you want it anyway.

via dumbing of age
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More videos!   Leave a comment

As long as I was on youtube, I decided to see which of my videos had the most views (and by that I mean “over 100 views”)

763 views.

855 views.

939 views and three comments! Five if you include my comments.

227 views.

114 views and two comments!

I’m not going to try to become famous on youtube until next year. This year…I should just focus on my education. And my blog. Yeah.

You guys I really recommend turning down the volume for these videos   Leave a comment

I’m sorry to have more than one lizard post in a row, but someone has been making trouble for multiple days in a row.

Who, me???

Who, me???

Yes, You. Mr. Sonny Marx! Look at what you’ve been doing:

You have been doing that for two days! This has been my soundtrack for two days. Notice he stops for several seconds (about 15). That’s just long enough to give me hope that he’s stopped. He hasn’t.

Morning until night, this is what I see and hear. And no, he can’t bother being graceful about it.

No, frequently he gets into messes like this:

Oh this is a good spot.  I think I'll just hang out for a while.  Oh you're here?  Can you get me outta this?  That's cool.

Oh this is a good spot. I think I’ll just hang out for a while. Oh you’re here? Can you get me outta this? That’s cool.

If I wasn’t here to help him, he’d be stuck like that forever. Oh you think I’m joking?

He has me trained well. Look at him. “Oh help me Mom I’m stuck.” He’s lucky I’ve been home the last few days. But hah! I’m more clever than he is. I control his home.

Yeah this will last exactly as long as the initial surprise.

Yeah this will last exactly as long as the initial surprise.

The Mediocre Mouse Detective (ahaha I’m so clever)   4 comments

The Great Mouse Detective was released by Walt Disney Productions in 1986, a year before I was born. Fortunately my childhood was spent in the heyday of VHS, so before every movie I watched at home, I got to see this trailer. So growing up, I saw this trailer and thought that I wanted to see it. But I never have. For 25 (almost 26!) years now, I have been wanting to see this film, and I finally got a chance to watch it.

Here is what I learned: all the good parts of this movie are in this trailer. I had already seen the good parts. Over. And over. And over again.

Basil, the Sherlockian mouse, isn’t really a detective so much as a forensic scientist. Well, that didn’t really disappoint me. It was cute. They tried to make it cute. And…I think that’s where they failed? They tried so, so hard to make this a good movie, a movie anything other than mediocre.


“This is Art,” they 1980s animators are desperately trying to say. “Animation is good and can be taken seriously by anyone!” I’m not hating on the animation. Did you see that bit where they’re running from the giant wheel…bell…thing? It’s from that scene where Our Heroes are hunting for clues in the toy store. Certainly the issues aren’t with the animation — the animation is bouncy, fun, and tip-top. Characters are put in dynamic poses, always moving, always suited for their characters. The actors do a good job with the material they’re given. The problem, I think, is with the scriptwriters.


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Here are our Heroes. I normally start out by introducing these guys, don’t I? The movie is based on a children’s book series, Basil of Baker Street, which is about the Sherlock Holmes of Victorian London. In that vein, these characters fit the Sherlockian tropes just fine. Basil (Holmes), Olivia (client), and Dawson (Watson). Notice that Basil is long and lean, and leaning back on his knees, bent forward slightly, in a dynamic pose. You can almost imagine that he is shifting his weight back and forth, full of energy. Dawson, by contrast, is short and round. His stomach takes up most of his body. His limbs are shortened severely. He has hardly anything in the way of a snout, resembling more of a friendly, kindly human face. He has little in the way of body posture, and yet he oozes geniality. Olivia in the middle is the archetypal child character, a central character entirely to pull children into the movie (she spends much of the movie playing with a big friendly dog). She, too, has reduced mouse features; her eyes are even larger than the adult’s, and she’s in the middle of a turn. Clearly meant to be adorable. (By the way, Dawson for Watson? Really?)

Olivia’s father is kidnapped, and she wants Basil to help find her father. To make a long story short, this leads Basil and Dawson to uncover a plot where Professor Ratigan is going to replace the Queen of Mouse England with an automaton. And here’s my first issue: two-thirds of the movie is taken up with trying to hide this plot, as if this plot would be a shocking twist. And it kind of is, because the announcement of this plan is the first time we hear about the existence of Queen Mousetoria (yes, really). This can be pretty fitting. The audience’s surprise can match the character’s surprise, and help the audience feel more involved with the story.


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Actually my issue with the plot is this: that is not a big enough plot. The idea of the plot is well-executed, with the stealing of uniforms and the need for gears for an automaton. The foundation is there. The idea has just been done dozens of times before. And it’s done on such a small scale — Ratigan switches out two guards with his own. Only two! What happened to the other uniforms the weird bat-dude stole? You could say that the other guards were switched out, too, but how come we don’t see them when the guard turns on Ratigan? Certainly Ratigan would have been more impressive with an army of guards backing him up, rather than just looking like this:


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And just expecting everyone to just go by the Queen announcing that he’s in charge. Ratigan walks in with the authority of only a single person’s single statement, then announces that he will get rid of every old, sick, and child person in the country (“Item 96: A heavy tax shall be levied against all parasites and spongers, such as the elderly, the infirm, and especially little children”). Which doesn’t work: the crowd is ready to throttle him before Basil shows up to save the day.

Moriarty, Ratigan’s inspiration, is scary because he works behind the scenes, orchestrating small schemes to work out his larger, better scheme. There’s no series of small schemes leading to a bigger one. Olivia’s case leads straight to Ratigan, which leads straight to the Queen of Mouse England. The scale of Ratigan’s operations are more on par with a small-time thug.

I had hopes for this plan, I really did. The plot really takes off when Fidget the bat-minion:


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loses his errand list, revealing that Ratigan’s plan and also Ratigan’s location (through forensic magic).


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At first Ratigan intends to feed the bat to his cat as punishment for losing the list, but changes his mind when he realizes he can use this opportunity. The wording of this scene leads one to believe that he is going to trick Basil into somehow helping him take over England, but no. He instead locks Basil and Dawson into an easily-escapable death machine that takes a while to go off, then says “tootles!” and scoots out the door.


Seriously, Basil, you can just scootch your butt a bit and you’re free.
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So we wandered away from the plot for no reason other than to buy time for the whole of England to against Ratigan?

The whole villainous plot is thoroughly disappointing. The final climax, in the Tower of Big Ben, is fantastic and worth the price of a monthly subscription to Netflix Instant. The problem is, that scene has very little dialogue. It allows the animators to go nuts on the story-telling, really involving the audience as you become scared for the characters. Ratigan loses any resemblance to Moriarty and instead becomes a pseudo-Gaston.


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In that way, I can see how this movie helped spur the Animation Renaissance that has lead to the assortment of available features today. The animation did it though. Not the writing, not the characterization.


Let the art do the talking
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Posted December 31, 2012 by agentksilver in animation

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Yay! Go you!   Leave a comment

Who’s avoiding her schoolwork?

Is it me?

Yes! It’s me! I am! Avoiding her schoolwork.