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Though it has gone on to take a bit of life of it's own recently, Nightmare before Christmas took the typical Christmas classic and turned it on it's head. This was back when hearing Tim Burton was doing a film got everyone excited and the combination of old school animated classic, in the style of Disney with plenty of songs, and Burton's own style and quirk installed this film into the psyche of many kids and adults. I'm still not sure if this should be classified as a Halloween movie or a Christmas one, so why not both?
Few things can make me feel completely like a kid again quite like Muppets can. Somehow in the late 70's, Henson was able to put together an entire movie with Muppets as the star and it worked. Packed with celebrity cameos, jokes for kids and adults, running gags, and plenty ofbreaking the4th wall. The Muppet Movie almost feels ahead of it's time while staying pure of heart the entire time. It's a magnificent balance you almost never find in children's entertainment that only Henson himself seems to have mastered. If you've ever liked anything Muppet, or you just like feeling happy, then this film is for you. Consider it a must watch.
The collaboration between Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg came out as a new bar set in animation and storytelling. Last years release was met with international acclaim for the long loved Tintin franchise that some said felt like an adventure worthy of the boy and his dog. Personally I've never had anything to do with Tintin but having this movie around may be my first step into a larger world. Or it may be a one off thing, who knows.
Not long ago Disney and Netflix made a bombshell deal to provide Netflix with a slew of Disney classics to be put onto Netflix instant streaming. Many of these I haven't seen since I was a kid and since Disney is so very careful about which movies are available to purchase this may be one of the rare times you can enjoy the classics from childhood or experience what Disney is best at for the first time. Films like Alice in Wonderland, based on the Lewis Carroll novel, takes a more tame but still trippy view on a fanciful world of invisible cats and un-birthday parties. Or Dumbo, a story about a flying elephant more about coming to terms with differences and mastering your own talents in the face of ridicule. If those aren't for you feel free to try: Pocahontas, The Fox and the Hound, and The Aristocats.
FLCL: Dec. 23rd
An anime classic that is both short to watch and is a great "beginners" anime. Sometimes diving into a whole new style of watching a show can be intimidating, especially with these shows have multiple seasons and multiple iterations. FLCL, standing for Fooley Cooley, is wacky and crazy and filled with anime cliches which is what makes it an amazing watch. It tackles weird issues of a lonely boy who misses his missing older brother and struggling to fill that void for all those around him. Then one day he is smacked by a woman on a Vespa with a guitar and a robot with a television head grows out of him. It's worth a watch in the time before it expires if you've ever wanted to get into anime but don't know where to start.
Che: Dec. 20th
Made in two parts, Che follows the life of the controversial communist revolutionary. Starring Benicio Del Toro and directed by the versatile Steven Soderbergh it really paints a positive portrait of a struggling revolutionary who may have different views than most. But the fights they highlight and the acting within is worth the time especially for anyone curious about why one man could be the face of revolution and change but also hate and violence. Che may help shed some light on the man.