Revealing The Secret of Kells, Part Two – and what are your favorite works of non-digitial animation?

“Revealing The Secret of Kells – Part Two”: My conversation with Steven Greydanus continues at Image journal’s blog.

Have you seen The Secret of Kells? What did you think?

I love the film’s style. It makes me realize how much young moviegoers are missing by living in a movie-world dominated by digital animation. Digital animation is great, but there is a kind of creativity that comes from the challenges and limitations of old-fashioned hand-drawn animation that is different from what we make when all the possibilities of CGI are at our fingertips.

What are your favorite works of non-digital animation?

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • http://www.parfait.ca Lisa

    The Secret of Kells was brilliant. The art direction for the flm was stunning. I think it successfully challenged the both the 2D asthetic (the habit of making soft round characters because they are easier to animate) and the 3D one- where creating slick glossy charcters and filling the film with mind-blogging camera moves seems to be the norm. It was incredibly refreshing to see an animated film do this and have an engaging storyline as well.

    As for animated favorites, in the top ten would be “Grave of the Fireflies” it is simply one of the best and saddest films I have ever seen. Then Disney’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Alice in Wonderland”, Miazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro”, Chomet’s “Triplettes de Bellville”, Fredrich Bach’s beautiful film “The man who planted trees”, and for sheer hilarity I choose Condie’s “The Big Snit.” http://www.nfb.ca/film/big_snit/ An incredible assortment of NFB animated films are now online and I highly recommend checking him out.

    I wish we could show animated short instead of trailers before films began. There are so many great (non-digital and digital) shorts in the world that only film festival buffs get to see. Hopefully Sylvain Chomet’s new film The illusionist will get wide release.

  • http://www.faithandgeekery.com Justin

    My favorite work of non-digital animation is easily Haibane Renmei, an anime series with a deeply spiritual side to it. There’s a reverence and mystery to the series, and the artwork is quite beautiful.

    For movies, the lesser-known Ghibli movie “Only Yesterday,” is my favorite of theirs. It’s another one of theirs filled with subtly and gorgeous backgrounds, and since it’s a slow movie, we get to experience those backgrounds for quite awhile.

    For more US fare, I don’t believe Coraline is considered digital, but maybe I just enjoy that so much because I’ve had Coraline’s “Oh my twitchy, witchy girl” rhyme in my head for awhile now.

  • Luke Shea

    My favorite traditionally animated film has to be “The Triplets of Bellville,” directed by Sylvain Chomet.

  • Ryan

    Being an artist, I always preferred the hand-drawn approach (though I like any form of animation). Spirited Away and The Iron Giant will always have a special place in my heart.


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