Back to school…
A blood-sucker bonding moment…
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The FIRST TEN MINUTES of “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” free of charge!
Okay, there’s an annoying 30 second ad at the front…
But the FIRST TEN MINUTES of “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” free of charge!
“The Black Cauldron,” Disney’s costly 1985 animated flop, is considered by many to be the darkest animated film in the studio’s history (to the point that several sequences were trimmed last minute at the insistence of new exec Jeffrey Katzenberg) but a strong case could be made for 1996’s unfairly overlooked “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” being the most “adult” Disney animated film ever. Based on the beloved novel by Victor Hugo (and inspired, at least in part, by the Lon Chaney film), Disney’s “Hunchback” doesn’t shy away from disturbing material — from the opening sequence that shows the brutal murder of Quasimodo’s mother at the hands of Judge Frollo, to excessive talk of eternal damnation, to a sequence where Frollo, driven mad by his sexual desires for gypsy Esmeralda, pictures her dancing seductively (all of this during a musical number called “Hellfire”). It’s all a little much, but It’s also totally brilliant.
Bafflingly, “Fear(s) of the Dark,” a truly nifty existential animated black-and-white French horror anthology, has been shown only a handful of times in the United States and never had a wide commercial release. Oh what’s that you say? There’s not much of a market for existential animated black-and-white French horror anthologies? Bah! Nevertheless, “Fear(s) of the Dark” contains some genuinely unsettling entries in a variety of animation styles, including tales that involve ghostly samurais and a snarling pack of wild dogs (there is also, true to form, a weird in-between story made up of interviews with people about what they fear, augmented by minimalist animation).
“The Pirates!” features Charles Darwin as a main character. How are you preparing for the inevitable Fox News piece about a “supposed children’s movie featuring the controversial Darwin as a hero”?
[Laughs] Okay, the truth is, I like Darwin. I mean, our Darwin, he’s a respectable figure, but we give him such a hard time. All the fundamentalists were delighted because we make him look like a complete ass.
But that requires watching the movie, and they’re not going to do that.
What’s the most audacious Wallace and Gromit adventure you haven’t filmed yet?
Oh god! Every time you start a new film, there’s something really, really audacious that you don’t do. I can tell you that for “Grand Day Out,” there was a huge scene that was cut — [a] huge scene, with a kind of diner on the moon with full machines and elaborate sci-fi set piece on the moon, but that never happened.