CoralineWow! Coraline was so amazing! The animation was so interesting and modernized classic stop motion. If you do a little research on how it was made, you'll be amazed. Look at the set below!!! Coraline was adapted from a Neil Gaiman novel, which I didn't know when I saw it. This made up big time for the poor Gaiman adaptation of Mirrormask, which made me sad because it was a Henson company failure. Anyhow, Coraline story was unique and the images were fantastic.
Fantastic Mr. FoxThis is one movie I have yet to see, but I have pretty high expectations. I don't know whether I will like the actual content of the movie or not, but I am sure I will LOVE the stop motion they used. I am a huge fan of stop motion. It reminds me of my trips to the Field Museum and looking at all the taxidermy animals. They are kind of grotesque but the animals are beautiful. In this movie, they have tiny retro-preppy clothes and pajamas, which I must admit looks pretty neat. I have heard a lot of controversy about how involved Wes Anderson actually was with the stop motion aspect of this film; but overall, the stop motion team alone deserves a huge amount of credit for this.
Mary and MaxThis animation style reminds me of the Wallace and Gromit animation, and trust me, its done well! I just saw Max and Mary and it was a beautiful film. I recommend it for everyone. Philip Seymore Hoffman does the voice of Max and he does an outstanding job! A lot of care was put into animating this film and it pays off. The colors and images set the tone for the film. Please see it! I cried.
PonyoYay! Miyazaki makes another beautiful animated film. This tale was simple and delightful. I respect Miyazki so much because he will not budge from doing hand drawn animation. And in the end, it makes for a better story. You can tell he and his team have taken time to craft beautiful pictures which creates a provocative story. His work compares to the old days of Disney for me. He is so bold to keep doing what he is doing...and successful. Ponyo had some crazy characters. Its great!
Yo Gabba GabbaThis is not a movie, but a children's TV show. My obsession with this show runs deep. I think it is the answer to all the worlds problems! Haha! It does not use animation, but well designed costumes, which I think have been greatly missed ever since the hey-day of the Muppets. This show is just plain fun, and wildly creative. Its great for kids and adults. It also uses the great concept where toys turn into characters. The original Winnie the Pooh did wonders with that concept, and so does Yo Gabba Gabba.
Where the Wild Things AreI put this last for a reason. I thought this movie was pretty bad, BUT I really do give it credit for the costumes they used. I thought most of them were lovely and majestic. Like I just said, I am happy that the use of costumes is coming back. My major problem with the costumes, though, is that the faces were digitally animated. This completely threw me off and angered me. I understand why the choice was made: to make the monsters more expressionistic. But, I thought the choice made the monsters look cheap and tacky. Overall, I commend the style of this movie, but unfortunately, I didn't really like it.