Posts Tagged ‘Children’

Howl’s Moving Castle (2005)

In Animation on June 10, 2005 at 7:22 am


Howl’s Moving Castle
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki, Diana Wynne Jones
US Release: June 2005

Finally it’s released in US theaters. I love the book by Diana Wynne Jones, though it was a long time ago since I read it and my memory is failing me on the details. But my impression was still strong, hence I was very disappointed with the Miyazaki adaptation. He took too much artistic liberties yet didn’t do a good job, particularly with the characterization and changes of the story, both plot and theme-wise. First of all the entire part about the ongoing machinery and war destruction was entirely Miyazaki’s own insertion as a ‘war is senseless and stupid’ commentary that wasn’t even concluded in a satisfactory way.

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McDull, Prince de la Bun (2004)

In Animation on February 24, 2005 at 7:03 pm


I love the first McDull movie My Life as McDull (2001). The new McDull movie McDull, Prince de la Bun is just as good and could be watched as a stand-alone. McDull (麥兜) is this long running cartoon piglet character created by Hong Kong illustrator Alice Mak and writer Brian Tse, a spin-off from their more children oriented McMug series. When I was little I had the wrong impression that they’re from France because of the faux Le Petit Prince water color drawings. I always prefer the McDull (over McMug) because they’re bittersweet stories for grown ups. The stories usually center around the silly, sad but dull “reality bites” life of this ordinary, not-so-bright young boy pig and his single-parent mother. Like any typical Hong Kong mother, Mrs. Mak has unrealistic extraordinary expectation from her painfully ordinary son who’s always bound to fail. Despite the silly, cute and quirky characters, the animated films are quite poetic and melancholy.

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Two George MacDonald Fantasy

In Novel on November 10, 2004 at 2:48 am

princessgoblin-thumb.jpgThe Princess and the Goblin (1871)
by George MacDonald

I found these expensive luxury UK import Children books on bargain at a bookstore for only $5 each. They’re all richly cloth bound with very nice paper and printing. Inside are classic illustrations from the 19th century edition. So I picked up two that I’ve always wanted to read, which are two victorian children Fantasy novels by George MacDonald, who’s known to be one of the first and most influencial Fantasy writers from the 19th century. The Princess and the Goblins was also known to be Tolkien and C.S. Lewis childhood favorite; I can definitely see the influences.

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The Witches (1990)

In Film on August 23, 2004 at 10:39 am


My goodness this is one nasty movie: so grotesque and scary for a children’s film…so good! It’s just surprisingly well done all around: excellent dark British humor, amazingly real makeup and special effects, and it featured Rowan Atkinson ;). It is based on a book by the wonderfully twisted Roald Dahl, directed by Nicolas Roeg, special effects by Jim Hensen. Story is simple: an orphan boy and his grandmother stayed at a hotel where a convention for ‘Women Against Cruelty For Children’ organization is held. But it was actually a disguise for a witch convention where witches from all over England met with their leader, the Grant High Witch (played brilliantly by Anjelica Huston). These witches are very normal looking except for these traits: there are errie purple glow in the eyes, square feet, and constantly scratching their head because they wear wigs to cover their hairless head. They schemed a grand plan of putting this new drug at candies that can turn children into mice.

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Something Wicked This Way Come (1983)

In Film on August 23, 2004 at 9:46 am


Something Wicked This Way Come was based on a novel by Ray Bradbury that I’ve always wanted to read (but the book cover is too ugly :-(, hoping for a newly designed edition someday in future). The movie adaptation was made by Disney (uh-oh), so I could only imagine how water-down the final execution was. The story is about a strange carnival arrived at a small American town in the 20s. It has strange power that can grant the town folks’ greatest wishes.

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