The Secret of Kells

Song of the Sea seals

Do you know who your friends are? Sure, you may associate with various other humans in your day-to-day existence — a mother here, an over-friendly co-worker there — but do you really know them? Are you 100% sure that Lawrence from the office isn’t really a harp seal in disguise? I ask this because the Selkie menace is at an all-time high. The last big Selkie resurgence was in 2010, when the Colin Farrell flick Ondine made brief mention of them. Before that was 1994, and The Secret of Roan Inish, also with Selkies. Oh, and for the uninitiated: Selkie (sel-kie) n. A creature or spirit in Scottish and Irish folklore that has the form of a seal but can also assume human form. (Thanks, free internet dictionary.) In greater detail, they’re seals that, when underwater, look and act totally like seals. But they also have the ability to strip all that sealskin off their bodies and blend in with us human folk. Traditionally, they tend to target humans in unsatisfying relationships, only to romance them and leave them hanging when they inevitably throw their living seal costumes back on and return to the ocean. Now they’re back thanks to Tomm Moore, the guy who previously printed a giant exclamation mark on the animation world with 2009’s The Secret of Kells. He’s given new life to the Selkie scourge with his newest film, Song of the Sea. 

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This Week in Blu-ray

The winds of change are blowing here in Austin, Texas. With Fantastic Fest over, a tad-bit of emptiness has washed over the land and left me yearning for more great genre experiences. Which brings me to this week’s selection of Blu-ray releases — one that includes a few unique genre flicks and one lovable turd that reminds me of a documentary that was launched into the stratosphere by the film community here in Austin. Also, there’s this animated movie from the Mouse House that will absolutely blow your mind on Blu-ray. It’s as if the cosmos has looked down upon us in our post-Fantastic Fest haze and said “hey, here are some good movies to satiate your need for the good stuff.” It’s a week full of releases that are delivered right on time, just as the leaves start to change and Halloween begins to peek its head around the corner. Time to spray blood on the walls and fall in love again with a tale as old as time, or some other confused multi-metaphor. It’s another round of This Week in Blu-ray.

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Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

The Best Animated Feature category — as you know — celebrates the best of the year’s animated fare. It is also the Academy Awards’ youngest category, first taking root in 2001. It was created ten years after Disney’s Beauty and the Beast became the only animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture. This year, almost 20 years after Beauty and the Beast and almost ten years after Shrek won the first Best Animated Feature award, we find ourselves once again with a first.

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Understanding the struggle of youth is a difficult one – especially for filmmakers, who are mostly adults and, as such, have lost sight on what it’s like to be a child. Still, despite the natural progression of forgetting that struggle, the filmmakers behind The Secret of Kells managed to create the story of a 12-year old boy living in 9th century Europe so universally that everyone can find themselves in him. And they did it by hand.

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When the 82nd Annual Academy Award nominations were announced earlier this year, the average fan of animated film was forced into a double-take. What is The Secret of Kells, and how did it get nominated for Best Animated Film? We have a big gallery of photos, a trailer and four new clips to show you why.

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breakdown-animatedfeature

Yesterday, Variety published the list of films that have made the cut of 20 for the race to get the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Allow me to break this down for you…

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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