Wednesday, December 24, 2008

World's Best Children's Films

Live Action / or Mixed
  • A Christmas Story
  • A Boy Ten Feet Tall
  • The Bad News Bears
  • Babe
  • Black Stallion, The
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (animated/live mix)
  • The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T
  • Mary Poppins (animated/live action mix)
  • My Dog Skip
  • Peter Pan (2002, animated/live action mix)


  • 101 Dalmations (animated)
  • Beauty and the Beast (animated)
  • Cars (computer animated)
  • Finding Nemo (computer animated)
  • Hoppity Goes to Town (animated)
  • Lady and the Tramp (animated)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (animated)
  • Silly Symphonies (Walt Disney's, animated)
  • Toy Story 1 (computer animated)
  • The Triplets of Belleville (animated)
  • Wall-E (computer animated)*
  • Wallace and Gromit: 3 Amazing Adventures (clay-mation)

Snow White was the first full-length animated feature film in 1938. Wallace and Gromit are Nick Park's Oscar winning short films (Wallace is his dad, Gromit the dog is himself). He's also responsible for Chicken Run, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and Flushed Away, full-length animation films. He won Oscars for the shorts Creature Comforts, The Wrong Trousers (incredible), A Close Shave and the full-length Were-Rabbit. A Boy Ten Feel Tall features a terrific supporting performance by Edward G. Robinson in his last film. It's hard to believe he never received an Oscar® nomination; this would have been a good chance to right that wrong. The Triplets of Belleville, though animated, is really going to be understood and enjoyed more by adults; it's 'old school' animation, hand-drawn frame by frame, and even parodies old b&w cartoons in the beginning. It won many awards for animated film, and had the bad timing of being released the same year as Oscar®-winner Finding Nemo. Babe, Beauty, Nemo, and Poppins were all nominated for Best Picture. Babe is my favorite children's film and favorite animal film; let's also throw in favorite Australian film!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Turkish Cinema: 3 Monkeys

Are you on look out for the 2009 Oscar nominees? While the excitement about the competing films builds, I wanted to offer you a sneak peek at Three Monkeys – the official submission to the Best Foreign Film category from Turkey. You can watch the trailer here. As a movie enthusiast, we thought you might be interested in this expressionist drama that takes place in less traveled Istanbul neighborhoods, but has a universal theme. The plot involves a family that chooses not to see, hear or talk about the truth to overcome hardships and to stay together. The camera focuses on four main characters, a couple, their son and the husband's boss as they play deaf, blind and dumb to weighty problems. Three Monkeys' director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, and his cast have already received international acclaim for their work, winning awards at 2008 Cannes (Best Director), Haifa (Best Film) and Asia Pacific (Best Director) film festivals. Three Monkeys will be released in the US in February 2009. Here are some initial responses from the audiences on You can take a look at photos and behind the scenes shots from the film here. All the best, Asli Atasoy Zeyno FILM on behalf of Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan, producer of Three Monkeys NOTE: I recently saw Three Monkeys and Climates, both from director Ceylan, enjoyed them both.. they were beautifully shot films, with many memorable images.. they move slowly, like Bergman films, yet reveal much about their characters. [Jose]

Saturday, December 13, 2008

World's Best Westerns

  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
  • The Big Country *
  • Broken Trail (mini-series)
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
  • The Claim
  • Dances With Wolves
  • The Grey Fox
  • Into the West (mini-series)
  • Heartland
  • Hidalgo
  • High Noon
  • Jeremiah Johnson
  • Lonesome Dove (mini-series)
  • McCabe and Mrs. Miller
  • Open Range
  • Shane
  • She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
  • Silverado
  • The Three Burials of Malquiades Estrada
  • Tom Horn
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Unforgiven

Runners-Up: Fistful of Dollars, The Good the Bad and the Ugly (wah wah wah...), The High Country*, The Long Riders, The Magnificent Seven, The Man from Snowy River, The Missouri Breaks*, Once Upon a Time in the West*, One-Eyed Jacks*, The Proposition*, Ride the Pink Horse*, The Searchers, The Shooter, Comanche Moon (mini-series) I included the mini-series here because they were classic westerns and should not be missed. Interesting how many were directed by actors: Dances and Range (both by Costner), Three Burials (Tommy Lee Jones), Unforgiven (Eastwood). Was there ever a villain as bad or as great as Jack Palance in Shane? You kinda had to pull for a guy that well-dressed, especially when Alan Ladd looked like an urban cowboy! Hidalgo, though not technically a western, was about men racing horses cross-country, close enough for me!

[update: 9.18.09]