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British Animation
Thunderbirds Megaset
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Thunderbirds Megaset (1965)
Animation DVD Review

The Japanese are just nuts about Thunderbirds, and it's easy to see why. Very few TV shows have ever fetishised gadgetry the way this one has. The characters take a back seat to the technology, which is the way most anime works as well. But one has to marvel at the technology — imaginative and stylish, with wonderful Derek Meddings FX work.
We love wooden acting if it has action!
Thunderbirds has such long-lasting appeal the Japanese ripped it off as Techoboyagers, which in turn, was dubbed into English as Thunderbirds 2086 by Robert Mandell, who then turned his attentions to Galaxy Rangers. Furthermore, Jonathan Frakes recently directed a live action Thunderbirds Movie. Gerry Anderson Supermarionation is FAB!

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, January 2005

Captain Scarlet DVD Box Set
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Captain Scarlet DVD Box Set (1967)
Animation DVD Review

Of all the Gerry Anderson Supermarionation shows, Captain Scarlet has the most realistic looking figures, the most imaginative scenery and equipment, and it's just generally the coolest looking of all of them. The Japanese have a serious love-affair with Thunderbirds, but Captain Scarlet has a special place in our hearts - the show is just so damn bizarre and with those South Park overtones (the main character dies every episode - except that he comes back - because he cannot be killed!), you'll see here where everyone else stole their great ideas from.

Super Supermarionation!Plus the episodes contain a veritable whos-who of British cinema behind the scenes. Both Derek Meddings (special effects guru) and Barry Gray (musical genius) went on to contribute to the James Bond films, and of course, Gerry and Silvia went on to produce epics like Space:1999 (best art direction - ever!). But every episode is not to be missed. Like some kind of GiJoe doll heaven come-to-life, action figures in action, toys that go boom, this is every 7 to 70 year old boy's dream come true.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, Summer 2002

Wallace and Gromit
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The Incredible Adventures of Wallace and Gromit (1989)
Animation DVD Review

Nick Parks is simply incredible. He took the dying artform of "claymation" and added real film technique as well as amusing stories and characters. If you've never seen the Wallace and Gromit films, you're in for a real treat – these are Academy Award Winning animated shorts, and we must agree with the Academy, because you'll have to search far and wide to find anything better than this.

Gromit enjoying a Manga!You may have also seen his work in various Chevron TV commercials and the feature film "Chicken Run". Everywhere, his touch is evident, although dozens of people labored over hot lights for long hours to make these animated shorts as spectacular as they are.

This DVD contains "A Grand Day Out", which is the first of the Wallace and Gromit adventures, and the crudest-looking, but certainly entertaining. What follows is "The Wrong Trousers", which won a 1993 Academy Award, and is quite possibly one of the best animated shorts (30 minutes) ever made. Finally is "A Close Shave" (which won the 1995 Oscar) which takes the artform to a whole new level of zany action.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2002

Gorillaz!
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Gorillaz (2001)
Animation Inpired Music CD Review

We admit it — we originally got into this band because I saw the video for "Clint Eastwood", and every other word out of my mouth was "cool... awesome..." But after experiencing the entire CD, we gotta say, it's a pretty good mix of stuff and has a unique sound. This group mixes everything from rap, funk, and rock to produce a strange, funkadelic sound that really is unlike anything else I've ever heard.

MurdocA motley crew of mismatched misfits, the group consists of pretty-boy singer "2D", metalhead bassist "Murdoc", hip-hop drummer "Russel" and 10-year-old wunderkind guitarist "Noodle". All of these characters are alter-egos for the talent behind the music. While some bands are content to simply sound cartoon-ish, Gorillaz are animated ideas brought to life by comic-book creator Jamie Hewlett (who's famous for "Tank Girl") and Blur frontman Damon Albarn, who lends his vocals to most of the songs on the group's self-titled debut album. Other "real-life" musicians who assisted the group in the studio include former Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth, Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori and Dan "The Automator" Nakamura, who produced the album.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, April 2002


British Animation Website Links:

British Animation Awards

Bradford Animation Festival

Norwich International Animation Festival

Toonhound

Skwigly animation magazine

Anim8ed

Aardman Studios

Animation Nation on BBC4

The official Gerry Anderson appreciation society

Thunderbirds Online

The Animations of Terry Gilliam

Gorillaz

The Animation Art Gallery UK


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Eye on Anime UK

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