Dad’s Fragile Doll (Iran) (2014)
A young girl uses imagination to mentally work through her family situation. The film by Ali Zareghanatnowi has an interesting animation style that looks like moving sketches. The style is visually appealing but can become too much in scenes with more action, which is unfortunate. The film shows the horrors that humanity can do and how a young girl uses the power of imagination to help herself. This short shows that imagination liberates you, frees you of your cage, of your oppressor. The use of dolls and animation as surrogates for reality brings forth the message and the emotions.
IN SELECT THEATERS OCTOBER 28TH – Although Henry Selick does a damn fine job of directing what is one of the most entertaining stop motion animated films, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has Tim Burton’s stamp all over it. It’s about an outcast, a love for the Gothic and Halloween, and it’s unabashedly menacing. Though Henry Selick’s animated movie was originally touted to kids, the film is very much a dark and harrowing narrative about monsters from the Halloweentown infiltrating the Christmastown, and using the traditions and rituals to terrorize random victims. One montage even features kids getting very creepy presents like a shrunken head, and a snake. Jack Skellington is the pumpkin king who is the anti-hero that finds himself restless with Halloween and accidentally becomes the villain when he falls in love with Christmas.
Man is “The Shutterbug Man” amazing. The only complaint I can lobby toward it is that it feels more like a prologue to a feature length horror film than an actual short, but i hope director Christopher Walsh turns this idea in to a horror movie somewhere down the line. Told in brilliant and haunting Stop Motion. the legendary Barbara Steele narrates the tale of “The Shutterbug Man.” With simplistic albeit immensely effective and haunting stop motion, Christopher Walsh tells us the tale of the Shutterbug Man, a local who spent his time taking pictures. He could only really take pictures of horrific sights and suffering as it granted him a sick pleasure.
Norman is a kid who has an unfortunate problem. He lives with a small family, all of whom expect a lot from him, especially his dad who badgers him constantly. Norman’s dad just wants Norman to be like every kid. One who doesn’t talk to spirits of the dead, including his grandmother who died years prior. Norman never really asks for his ability, but is aware of a long lost uncle Prenderghast that his family shunned away years ago, who shares his knack for speech beyond the grave. When his uncle Prenderghast tracks down Norman, and makes him cautious of a curse involving an ancient witch that is set to unfold in their town.
Rankin Bass’s “Mad Monster Party” (or “Mad Monster Party?”) is a monster bash of animated proportions that brings the great Boris Karloff aboard to lend credibility to an already fun animated film. Comprised of some excellent voice work and some classic stop motion animation from the Rankin Bass studio, “Mad Monster Party” sets down on the geeky and lovable Felix Flankin, a pharmacist with an allergy problem who is called to his old uncle Baron Boris von Frankenstein’s island for a party where he plans to announce to his monster community that he’s giving up the life of monster making and plans to hand over the business to his nephew.