Brave

Pixar (2012) 93 min. PG

Director: Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman

Screenplay: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi & Steve Purcell; Story: Brenda Chapman

Editing: Nicholas C. Smith Score: Patrick Doyle

Stars: Kelly Macdonald (Princess Merida), Emma Thompson (Queen Elinor), Billy Connolly (King Fergus), Julie Walters (The Witch), Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin & Young MacGuffin), Craig Ferguson (Lord Macintosh), Robbie Coltrane (Lord Dingwall), Steven Cree (Young Macintosh), Callum O’Neill (Wee Dingwall); non-speaking characters include Mor’du (the bear), Angus (Merida’s horse), Harris, Hubert & Hamish (Merida’s triplet brothers)

Animation is among the most visually exhilarating of movie forms because it’s the only sort of cinema, apart from silents, that is conceived primarily from a visual standpoint. The dizzying optic dynamism never lets up for a minute, so cartoons can easily start to seem overbearingly energetic. They have to in order to sustain the interest of kids’ increasingly shorter attention spans, now preconditioned to this kind of constant stimulation. Continue reading

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The Adventures of the Wilderness Family

Pacific International Enterprises (1975) 100 min. G

Director: Stewart Raffill

Screenplay: Stewart Raffill; Story: Arthur R. Dubs

Cinematography: Gerard Alcan; Editing: R. Hansel Brown

Production Design: Ronald Kent Foreman

Costumes: Beau Barthel

Score: Gene Kauer and Douglas Lackey

Stars: Robert Logan (Skip Robinson), Susan Damante Shaw (Pat), Hollye Holmes (Jenny), Ham Larsen (Toby), George ‘Buck’ Flower (Boomer)

When I first caught up with it on pay cable as a kid in the 80’s, I was wild about The Adventures of the Wilderness Family and its sequels. I’d been hunting down a DVD in recent years but hadn’t managed to come across one (a special edition has been released but it’s not offered through Netflix yet). Yesterday, by pure chance, I came across an old discarded VHS copy at a rummage sale and as I quickly snatched up and pocketed my find, mused over the priceless treasures some people choose to toss out. At least until I got it home and popped it in an old VCR I keep oiled just for such an emergency. Continue reading