The Bootleg Files: Detective Felix in Trouble

BOOTLEG FILES 580: “Detective Felix in Trouble” (1932 Japanese amateur animated short).

LAST SEEN: A video of this rare film is online at the Japanese Animated Film Classics website.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: The unauthorized use of the Felix the Cat character.


Today, it seems that anyone with a video camera and a mania for popular movies can make their own fan film based on the latest multiplex hit. But the concept of the fan film is not new, by any stretch. The earliest known fan film was a 1925 short “Anderson’s Own Gang Comedy,” a South Carolina-lensed riff on the Our Gang series.

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Say What! A Geriatric Proposal (2016)

Being an artist is tough work. Not only do you have to work very hard to hone your craft, and perfect it, but you also have to fight to be taken seriously. Jeremy Weinstein’s chronicle of his brother’s life as a Jazz Musician is a funny and charming slice of life and how a talented Jazz Musician finds himself on the end of man condescending remarks.

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Revolting Rhymes (2016) (New York International Children’s Film Festival 2017)

In the tradition of “Fractured Fairytales,” directors Jakob Schuh & Jan Lachauer create what is pretty much one of the most inventive and creative twists on the fairytale I’ve ever seen. “Revolting Rhymes” takes all of the classic fairytales and manages to create one shared universe that is not only very funny but makes complete sense. The computer animated film, relies on a lot of subtle comedy and great computer animation that almost looks like stop motion upon first glance. The directors realize Roald Dahl’s book series with great success allowing for a fun twist on fairytales that thankfully is never cloying or obnoxious as films like “Shrek” or “Hoodwinked.”

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Ma Vie de Courgette (My Life as a Zucchini) (2017) (New York International Children’s Film Festival 2017)

Courgette (Zucchini) is a young boy who has had a tough life.  His father is gone and his bother drinks a lot of beer.  One day, something happens to his mother and he ends up placed in a group home.  Through learning to trust others with the other kids in the home, he also learns to love himself and others.

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Cinema Crazed Covers The 2016 Oscar Contenders

It’s that time of year again, where Hollywood either guides us in to celebrating actual works of cinematic art, or will likely arouse the ire of cineastes for years to come by playing it safe with the obvious crowd pleasers once again. In either case, “Oscar” night 2017 promises to be an interesting and controversial one. With the political landscape, racial landscape, and current crop of movies nominated at this years’ ceremony, a lot of us are hoping the Academy celebrates films that hold a miror to society rather than simply celebrate the safe, and light hearted fare that pass itself at “escapism.” That said, while we are a bit of cynics, we have a good time every year with the pageantry, the fun, and celebration of film.

To remind you of who is nominated this year, we covered a lot of Oscar nominees. If you want to a refresher course of what we thought of a lot of the films up for an award this year, we’ve compiled a list of movies reviewed by the Cinema Crazed contributors. Feel free to voice your own opinions on these films and many others in the comments!

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The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rouge) (2016)

This is one of the very few animated productions where Studio Ghibli’s fantastic storytelling is given a hint of European flavor. While “The Red Turtle” is branded a Studio Ghibli production it garners much of the same elements from Ghibli’s library including a wide open world, a menacing series of creatures and the overtones of the symbioses of nature and humanity. It’s best to think of “The Red Turtle” as a fairy tale, as the movie relies on a lot of inexplicability to tell its thin narrative. The narrative being thin is by no means a criticism as “The Red Turtle” is a lot about raw events, and simplicity at its finest.

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A Second Glance at 2016’s Oscar Animated Shorts

Time seems to be the central theme of the animated shorts for the Oscars this year, as all of the animated shorts have some semblance of the theme of time. Most of the shorts spend their story examining the beauty of the past and the present, while others examine the tragedy of the past, the present, and the future. As with most years at the Oscars, you won’t always find typical animated entries, but this year’s crop have been quite special and incredibly thought provoking. I take a second glance at the shorts this year, and what I am voting to win come February 26th.

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My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de courgette) (2016)

I truly, truly hope that when “My Life as a Zucchini” comes to the states that people to come to see it. I want people to seek it out, I want people to take their families, and I want everyone to tell others about what is easily one of the best animated movies I’ve ever seen. “My Life as a Zucchini” is simple and it’s short, but its rich in human themes, and complex characters that you’ll fall in love with. Rest assured I fell in love with every single character, and understood even the antagonists. “My Life as a Zucchini” isn’t a film that shoehorns in a villain. It’s merely a slice of life about the pitfalls and emotional turmoil that comes with being an orphan in a very cruel, and often difficult world.

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