March 30th, 2009

Ann Vole

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

(note that this description has no spoilers) "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" is now available on Google Video in one piece (almost 2 hours long) so I watched it twice. I had seen in on a DVD borrowed from the library but watching it a second and third time found me enjoying the film much more each time. One thing I like about it is when there are a number of different "sides" to the story but having so many sides means there are so many more total characters and you have to learn what each side wants and needs and believes so each viewing brings new understanding of each character and side of the story. One amazing feature of this film that was overlooked is that at the start of the credits, there are short (3-5 second long) one-shot scenes of anti-climax story that each tell an amazingly detailed story in themselves. Each of these shots could be expanded to a feature film length based on all the story clues connected with this film so watching the film again with these end shots in mind expands the story well into the future of that world past the end of this storyline. Princess Nausicaa, the main character has a real connection with animals much like I do so I am very much tear-struck as she connects with various animals and they with her. She also uses a combination of science, psychology, and theology to come up with the best solutions and then has the self-sacrificing guts to implement that plan at any cost other then the death of anyone... a truer hero/heroine then any other character I have seen in a fiction... yet she has real faults too... a very believable heroine. It does have a very strong environmental message behind it but interestingly, that part of it had little interest to me (but still glad to see it in any film)
Ann Vole

Gained in translation: Doogal, The Magic Roundabout, Le Manège enchanté

There was an animated series made in French called "Le Manège enchanté" of over 500, 5-minute shows. Some guy ignored the scripts entirely and made up a hew story with English dialog and narration for the (originally French) visuals and called the series "The Magic Roundabout". This English show became quite popular in England and later was produced as a feature-length movie by the same name which was well received in England. Because the series that it was based on was not broadcast in North America, some producers did the exact same thing and made up a new story and dialog for the British-made movie's visuals and got famous American actors and actresses to voice it. The result was the movie Doogal which has been named the world's worst computer-animated movie ever. I am telling you this to say that coming up with a whole new story and dialog for visuals can be a great improvement or the worst thing you can do... depending on who is writing the stuff and NOT depending on how good the voice actors involved are.