Avocado Weekly Movie Thread (5/5)


Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread! Normally we would be deep in the summer movie season. You’d usually have a big action movie in theaters right now. We would have had a Black Widow film, a David Copperfield would have thrilled us with his magical adventures, the next installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, and… The New Mutants. Instead we’ve got … let me check the streaming releases … Dangerous Lies, The Wrong Missy, and All Day and All Night. Future classics all!

By the way, as of May our top three worldwide box office champs are Bad Boys For Life, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Doolittle. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

But lets not think about that! Having access to streaming means that an entire library of film as at your fingertips! Right now you can watch The Lighthouse, Hell Or High Water, High Life, Django Unchained, Raging Bull, and other great films! What have you been watching lately, my compadres?

Being an animator gives you a crazy set of skills. An affinity for story boards, a great sense of composition, know-how in using CGI (which are basically just big cartoons). With an animator, you can guarantee that they have a strong sense of visuals.

This becomes apparent when animators go into live action. Plenty of reviews for Bumblebee, for example, praised how Travis Knight put his animation background to good use in developing action sequences that were clear and understandable. This was in contrast to Bay’s own Transformers movies, which were informed by the quick cut language of advertising and music videos.

There are plenty of other animators who have dipped their toes into live action to great success: Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Brad Bird. There are some that didn’t. Let’s pour out a 40 for Andrew Stanton’s John Carter.

And then there’s the King of them all… Tim Burton. You always know what a Tim Burton is primarily for how they look. His visuals are unmistakable. His skills were honed from his time working as an animator at Disney… where he got discovered after creating some of his own stop-motion animated films.

This year, by the way, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of what is possibly Tim Burton autobiography set in a world that might as well be animation come to life: Edward Scissorhands.

Another person in that group of animators-turned-directors: Seth MacFarlane, who got his start at Hanna-Barbera. This led to a different set of skills: those cartoons are defined by limited animation. So, to set it apart, you gotta fill your space with over-the-top impressions, cartoony characters, and quick-snap gags. It’s not quite the same path as Tim Burton, but a sensibility that was honed in the field of animation as well.

Today’s prompt: What is your favorite live-action film directed by a former animator?

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