Queued in: A Grand Night In: The Story of Aardman

Aardman Documentary Poster

During a recent (late) night in, I sat down to watch this cute little documentary about the story of Aardman Animations. It’s the British animation company that has brought to the big screen movies like Chicken Run (2000), Flushed Away (2006), Arthur Christmas (2011), The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (aka The Pirates! Band of Misfits in North America, Australia, and New Zealand) (2012), Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015), their most recent feature Early Man (2018), and, of course, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005). They’ve also done other things like the loveable and playful stop-motion creation called Morph, Creature Comforts (1989), and Wallace & Gromit shorts. Primarily, Aardman is known as, though I’ve never heard anyone use these words, the king of stop-motion clay animation, with numerous Oscars to prove it. So, it was kind of a given to do a documentary about this amazing studio that started with two guys, a tiny room, barely any equipment, and a little Plasticine. Continue reading

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Mini-Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

NOTE: There sadly isn’t a Queued in Fridays post this week. Hopefully, this little review helps make up for it.

kubo-and-the-two-strings

Release: August 19, 2016

Story: Kubo and the Two Strings is about a young, one-eyed boy, Kubo (voiced by young actor Art Parkinson), who lives in ancient Japan with his mother (voiced by Charlize Theron). Kubo is a storyteller and shamisen (a string instrument) player. Kubo, who possesses magical powers, must come home everyday before dark or else his evil grandfather (Ralph Fiennes) and creepy, masked aunts (both voiced by Rooney Mara) will find him and take him away. After Kubo accidentally stays out too late in a vain attempt to contact his dead father, his relatives discover his whereabouts. Kubo goes on the run and is forced to find three powerful magical artifacts that will help him defeat his grandfather. Aiding Kubo is a talking monkey and a giant talking beetle named…um…Beetle (Matthew McConaughey). Monkey was formerly Kubo’s small wooden monkey charm and Beetle claims to be a former apprentice to Kubo’s father before he was cursed and transformed into a beetle-man. With fricken scary sisters, giant skeletons and dangerous ocean creatures standing in their way, it won’t be easy for Kubo and his friends to find the artifacts before they are hunted down by Kubo’s terrible grandfather. Continue reading