Archive
Reviews
Articles marked with a are from the original print run of fps and are located on an external website.
009-1 Vol. 1
By Aaron H. Bynum
Produced for an adult demographic, the spy anime 009-1 pulls no punches.

Â-ni-mé, The Berkeley Journal of Japanese Animation, Issue II
By René Walling
With the current worldwide popularity of anime, it is often easy to forget what things were like in the late eighties and early nineties for fans of Japanese animation.

Afro Samurai
By Emru Townsend
The pleasure of Afro Samurai, a show that further blurs the definition of anime, is in its over-the-top execution.

Air Gear Volume 1: East Side Showdown
By Brett D. Rogers
Air Gear is a show that relies on a simple formula of action, high energy music and a hint of sex appeal to maintain a light, fun story without a bit of pretense.

Alias Sketchbook Pro
By Mike Caputo
Sketchbook Pro is it perfect, as long as you don't expect more from it than what it was designed for.

Alice in Wonderland
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
If you've heard anything about the Alice in Wonderland DVD set, you've probably heard about what it doesn't contain.

The Animation Show 2004
By René Walling
To fulfill its mandate, The Animation Show needs to lead and not follow.

The Animation Show 2005
By René Walling
With the variety and quality being so great, trying to pick only a few films to highlight is like being a kid in a candy store.

The Animation Show Box Set
By Armen Boudjikanian
The Animation Show two-DVD set is a treasure box for every fan of the medium.

The Animatrix
By Fred Patten
The Animatrix is impressively successful, both as a single feature encompassing many different styles of animation, and as a sci-fi feature.

The Anime Companion 2
By René Walling
When watching anime, it is easy to get lost in cultural references you aren't familiar with. This book explains them so you can enjoy your anime even more.

Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation
By René Walling
Susan Napier is the ideal person to write a book about anime, since she did not discover Japanese culture through anime, but discovered anime through Japanese culture.

Anime Studio 5
By Emru Townsend
Anime Studio 5 is an inexpensive and easy way to create animation, but its name is problematic.

Appleseed
By Mike Caputo
I'm sure there are legions of fans that will absolutely love Appleseed, especially the ones whose knees go weak during the cut scenes in any popular video game.

Appleseed
By Emru Townsend
Nine years ago, I wrote that Appleseed fans expect the best. While this Appleseed is a vast improvement over the previous one, it's still not quite enough.

Appleseed / Macross Plus, Vol. 1
By Emru Townsend
Aficionados of both Appleseed and Macross expect the best.

Appleseed UMD / Samurai Champloo UMD / PlayStation Portable
By Emru Townsend
In the 21st-century media landscape, it's all about the hi-def, right? Wrong.

Area 88: The Original OVA Series
By Emru Townsend
Area 88 has aged well over the last 21 years, providing the kind of mature story and storytelling that is still lacking in most of the world's animation.

Area 88 Vol. 1: Treacherous Skies
By Emru Townsend
It may seem unfair to draw comparisons between the new series and the old, but the truth is that initially, the new show almost begs for it.

The Art of Cars
By Jason Vanderhill
This is not a cartoon world of colourful but generic toy car illustrations. It is chock full of vintage automotive lore, wit and exceptional artistry that should impress even the toughest automotive critics.

The Art of Heavy Metal: Animation for the Eighties
By René Walling
Twenty-five years ago, if you mentioned the words sex and animation in the same sentence, they would consistently be accompanied by the words Heavy Metal. Not the music genre, but the movie.

The Art of Otaku
By Brett D. Rogers
The artists tapped to provide the lessons featured in Art of Otaku are amateurs, but what they lack in refinement makes the guide more accessible to the readers who turn to the guide for a peer's perspective on the tools and methods of anime-style art.

The Art of Ratatouille
By Mark Mayerson
The Art of Ratatouille is full of drawings, paintings and sculptures showing how the characters and sets evolved before the nuts and bolts of computer animation were applied.

The Art of Stop-Motion Animation
By René Walling
The Art of Stop-Motion Animation is an informative read by someone who loves stop-motion animation and, perhaps more important, loves teaching it.

The Art of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Tim Burton's Corpse Bride: An Invitation to the Wedding
By Andrew Leal
While 2005 brought a raft of glossy CG films, it also produced two feature films using a much older 3D art: stop-motion animation.

Assemble Insert
By Emru Townsend
Assemble Insert is self-referential and pop-culture savvy like any twenty-first century cartoon—even though it was made fourteen years ago.

Astérix et les Vikings
By Armen Boudjikanian
Astérix et les Vikings is a big-budget, traditionally animated movie based on a well-established comic book series. In that sense it is a success.

The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution
By Aaron H. Bynum
The Astro Boy Essays traces the personal and professional ambitions of Osamu Tezuka through his creation of Astro Boy, and as a result, traces the evolution and rise of manga and anime.

Avoid Eye Contact Vol. 2
By Emru Townsend
This second collection of work by independent New York animators delivers laughs and a healthy dose of individualism.

Barefoot Gen
By Emru Townsend
Proof that animation is every bit as powerful as any other medium for telling us about real-life horror.

Bambi Platinum Edition
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
The movie Bambi has been overshadowed and perhaps even defined by "the moment."

Bambi II
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Someone thought the efforts of a number of talented individuals could be best spent creating a movie that no one was asking for and wasn't needed storywise.

Barefoot Gen & Barefoot Gen 2
By Brett D. Rogers
Based on a loosely autobiographical manga by Keiji Nakazawa, Barefoot Gen follows a family of five struggling to survive in Hiroshima in 1945 and the experiences of the remnants of that family after the atomic bombing.

Barnyard
By Mark Mayerson
Barnyard is one of those films that careens wildly in all directions. Anything that appealed to the director got tossed into the mix whether it fit or not.

Battle Royal High School
By Cynthia Ward
If you watch movies for the fight scenes, Battle Royal High School may be your cup of gore.

Bebe's Kids
By Emru Townsend
A rarity in animation, Bebe's Kids provides a range of black characters.

The Best of Anima 2
By Emru Townsend
Getting your hands on this DVD and watching it is a pain: it's only available in the EU, it's in PAL, and it only has French and Dutch language tracks. Frankly, it's worth the trouble.

The Best of the British Animation Awards
By Emru Townsend
Each of these five discs is what it should be: an approximately 90-minute collection of shorts with a wide variety of styles and subject matter that mostly happen to be, well, the best. And British.

Blood Tea and Red String
By Brett D. Rogers
Blood Tea and Red String is an artist's personal vision exquisitely realized and an antidote to modern digital precision and diluted creativity.

The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear Collector's Edition
By René Walling
Little Bear is more convincing as a feral child than Disney's rendition of Mowgli was.

The Brave Little Toaster Trilogy
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
The Brave Little Toaster is a charming animated film; too bad about the mediocre sequels.

Brother Bear
By Cynthia Ward
Brother Bear evinces no creative passion, or even commitment.

Cars
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
In racing terms, Cars is a movie in second gear.

Cars
By Mark Mayerson
The Cars DVD feels bare-bones compared to earlier Pixar releases.

Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation
By Mark Mayerson
Amid Amidi's Cartoon Modern is a success both as an art and history book.

Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation
By Emru Townsend
Open your eyes to the whole world of animation.

Cartoons for Victory!
By Mark Mayerson
While this wartime animation has been issued before, this DVD has commentaries by animation historian Jerry Beck and animators Eric Goldberg and John Kricfalusi.

The Cat Returns
By Marc Hairston
Of all the Studio Ghibli films Disney has released in the US, The Cat Returns is something of a stepchild.

Character Animation: 2D Skills for Better 3D, Second Edition
By Mark Mayerson
This book works both the 2D and 3D sides of the street, using drawings to get the reader to think about motion principles before tackling the complexities of software.

Le Chevalier D'Eon Vol. 1: Psalm of Vengeance
By Brett D. Rogers
Le Chevalier D'Eon engages, as the best anime often do, in artful dialogue with its inspiration.

Chicken Little
By Emru Townsend
Chicken Little isn't quite a home run, but it is something that Disney hasn't had in a long time: an honest-to-God family movie that everyone can enjoy without apology.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury
By Emru Townsend
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury's plot is wafer-thin. That's not a problem.

Chuck Jones: Conversations
By Marc Elias
Never pass up a chance to give one of your heroes a standing ovation, because you never know how long they will be around for you to celebrate.

Chuck Jones: A Flurry of Drawings
By Emru Townsend
An appreciation of the legendary animator that everyone can enjoy.

Cinderella Platinum Edition
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Cinderella is the perfect story to be told through animation.

Cinderella III: A Twist in Time
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
While I have not been a fan of Disney's sequels to its classic film roster, I will admit that this particular film was a pleasant surprise.

Cinema Anime
By Emru Townsend
A new book collects scholarly essays on anime, and embodies the best and the worst aspects of academic writing.

Le Cinéma épinglé Alexeïeff
By Mark Mayerson
Alexeïeff worked as an etcher and illustrator before trying animation, and his work definitely reflects that background.

The Compleat Tex Avery
By Eric Walker
Many people know who Chuck Jones is; he's probably the most famous animation-related name of all time, right after Walt Disney. But Tex Avery was the true genius behind the cartoon boom at Warner Bros., and MGM in the 1940s as well.

The Computer in Art
By René Walling
The Computer in Art is about a time when the very idea of images done with computers was revolutionary.

Cool McCool: The Complete Series
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Although you may be unacquainted with Cool, when you watch him you'll find yourself with a feeling of déjà vu.

Corpse Bride
By Armen Boudjikanian
The imaginary and reality delightfully collide in Tim Burton's latest film.

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
By Emru Townsend
Cowboy Bebop has always had a contemporary American flair; American in that way only non-Americans can make it.

Creature Comforts: The Complete First Season
By Jason Vanderhill
What are the animals really thinking?

Cromartie High School Vol. 1: Cromartian Rhapsody
By Emru Townsend
If Cromartie High School aired on North American late-night TV, critics would probably refer to it as stoner programming.

Crying Freeman
By Emru Townsend
A melodramatic tale of sex and violence.

The Dick Tracy Show: The Complete Animated Crime Series
By Brett D. Rogers
Fans of the Dick Tracy character will be left scratching their heads at this show, wondering when he's going to arrive and take his place at center stage.

Dirty Pair: Project Eden
By Emru Townsend
The Lovely Angels take on scary monsters and mad science.

Doggy Poo
By Cynthia Ward
An animation titled Doggy Poo? The mind boggles.

Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson
By Mark Mayerson
To his credit, author Tom Sito pulls no punches. The book isn't a valentine to the labour movement and an attack on management.

Drawn to Television
By Brett D. Rogers
Drawn to Television is an intelligent, straightforward survey of the most notable prime-time animated programs airing between roughly 1960 and 2006.

Ducktales Volume Two
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
While so many other series from the late 1980s exist today solely based on their camp potential or as time capsules, Ducktales lasts because it really holds up to repeated viewings.

Dungeons & Dragons: The Complete Animated Series
By Terrence Briggs
Watching this series requires you to mentally adjust your aesthetic to a standard many animation lovers fear: 1980s television animation.

Dungeons & Dragons: The Complete Animated Series
By Ceri Young
Of all the cartoon shows I watched in my childhood, probably the one I loved most was Dungeons & Dragons.

El Doctor, Joy Street & Aparagus: The Wonderfully Strange and Surreal Animation of Suzan Pitt
By Mark Mayerson
Suzan Pitt is squarely in the fine arts stream of animation. Her paintings are richly coloured and textured and her images are original and idiosyncratic.

Elemental Gelade Vol. 1: React
By Aaron H. Bynum
It would be all too easy and a bit unfair to dismiss Elemental Gelade as a generic shounen adventure, but ultimately, that's what it is.

EZTakes
By Emru Townsend
EZTakes provides DVD content you can order, download and burn yourself to play on any DVD player.

Fafner Vol. 1: Arcadian Project
By Aaron H. Bynum
Fafner is a series that offers a huge cast of characters and one ominous threat, hoping that somewhere down the line things will even out.

Felix: The Twisted Tales of the World's Most Famous Cat
By Harry McCracken
A shining example of what a book about animation can and should be.

The Films of Michael Sporn, Vols. 1 and 2
By Emru Townsend
Sporn himself is like his films: low-key, yet engaging.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
By Ceri Young
This movie has been much anticipated by fans, but has it been worth the wait?

Finding Nemo
By Emru Townsend
On the surface, Finding Nemo confirms the sentiments of the CGI fetishists.

Fire Ball and Khan Kluay
By Emru Townsend
Both of these films have children as their main audience, but are genuinely entertaining for adults as well. Rather than trying to keep parents' attention through nods, winks and sly asides, they come by their over-12 appeal honestly.

FLCL: The Ultimate Collection
By Madeline Ashby
FLCL takes the best-known of standard anime conventions and subtly undermines them by pointing out the utter absurdity (and painful humanity) involved.

Fragile Machine
By Brett D. Rogers
Fragile Machine is a well-styled piece of visual and audio cyberpunk, setting lessons learned from Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell and Metropolis to a beat.

Futurama Volume Two
By Cynthia Ward
Futurama's animation is strong, but the writers ran out of ideas.

Gad Guard Volume 1: Lightning
By Cynthia Ward
Gad Guard is the latest arrival in a nostalgia-anime tradition begun in 1992 by Giant Robo.

Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Vol. 1
By Aaron H. Bynum
This new, anime version of Alexandre Dumas' Le Comte de Monte Cristo is both an ambitious adaptation and a fiery character drama.

Gargoyles: The Complete First Season
By Emru Townsend
American anime? Maybe.

Ghost in the Shell Special Edition
By Emru Townsend
If you've seen Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence but never seen the original, it's worth it to pick up this DVD.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Vol. 1
By Emru Townsend
Each episode of Stand Alone Complex is like a bite-size Shirow manga.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: 2nd Gig Vol. 1
By Scott Schmeisser
Ghost in the Shell returns for a second season of cyberpunk television.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
By Jim Omura
Innocence is a fairly accessible movie, even in its subtitled form, but it has breadth and depth that cry out for research and, yes, seeing the movie again and again.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Music Video Anthology
By Emru Townsend
On the surface, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence Music Video Anthology is a natural. In practice, the results are something of a disappointment.

Giant Robo, Vols. 1 & 2
By Emru Townsend
Retro high-adventure anime never looked so good.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
By Emru Townsend
What would you do if you found out you could jump backward through time? If you're high school senior Makoto Konno, you extend your karaoke session until your voice gives out.

Girls Bravo Vol. 1
By Aaron H. Bynum
Girls Bravo is your typical high school love story, but with a main character with a nasty rash, an alien girlfriend and a violent secret admirer.

Gun Sword Vol. 1: Endless Illusion
By Aaron H. Bynum
With exquisite background artwork and great character designs, Gun Sword is a strange mix of science fiction, western and mecha that comes together quite well.

Haibane-Renmei Vol. 1: New Feathers
By Cynthia Ward
Haibane-Renmei quickly establishes itself as a series that will feature growth and change.

Hakugei: The Legend of the Moby Dick Vol. 1: Ahab Awaits
By Aaron H. Bynum
The backdrop of Hakugei revolves around the fact that as space travel became more common over the years, so did the prevalence of abandoned or wrecked spaceships that continuously floated on through the black nothingness.

Happily N'Ever After
By Brett D. Rogers
Happily N'Ever After is a grim reminder that CGI movies should be left to the precious few studios that have mastered the art.

Happy Feet
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
My instinct told me to avoid Happy Feet. I did so during its theatrical run but after its Oscar win and recent DVD release I decided to give it a chance.

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law Vol. 1
By Jeff Boman
After a few episodes, Harvey Birdman's humour becomes addictive.

Hello Anime!
By Emru Townsend
This documentary has three pretty ambitious goals: to uncover the history of anime in North America, to explain its appeal, and to look at where it is now and where it might be going.

Home on the Range
By Emru Townsend
Home on the Range's intentions are writ large: you just know that it wants to be a Warner Bros. cartoon.

Horton Hears a Who!
By René Walling
The character and set designs are pure Dr. Seuss, as is the narration in rhyme.

Howl's Moving Castle
By Armen Boudjikanian
Howl's Moving Castle contains Western and Eastern fairy tale imagery but it resonates in its audience as the work of a single visionary.

Howl's Moving Castle and Ghibli ga Ippai Special: Short Short
By Emru Townsend
The Ghibli ga Ippai Special: Short Short DVD collects 22 shorts that Ghibli created between 1992 and 2005, few of which have been seen outside of Japan and maybe a few film festivals.

The Illusion of Life: Essays on Animation
By René Walling
The Illusion of Life: Essays on Animation is, according to the dust jacket, the first book of scholarly essays on animation.

Imagina Trips Vol. 2
By Emru Townsend
A best-of collection from the 2004 festival, Imagina Trips Vol. 2 presents a nice mix of work from students, smaller studios and commercial houses.

The Incredibles
By Emru Townsend
It's clear that Brad Bird loves superhero comics, and that unabashed affection for the form is up there on the screen.

It's a Small World of Fun Vols. 1 & 2
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
When I saw that Disney was releasing a series of DVDs entitled It's a Small World of Fun, I got those feelings from my childhood all over again.
Japanese Anime Classic Collection
By Emru Townsend
This collection is a worthwhile investment for any student of Japanese animation, as it entertainingly showcases the masters of the form from the days before Osamu Tezuka came along.

Jeu
By Emru Townsend
Like his earlier L'Homme sans ombre, Georges Schwizgebel's four-minute Jeu is a dazzling, colourful, kinetic ride, and a hand-painted delight.

John and Michael
By Beverly Akerman
A moving tale of two men with Down's Syndrome who share an intimate and loving relationship.

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (Anime Movie Classics)
By Amy Harlib
By taking its dual themes of loss and despair very seriously, Jin-Roh achieves a gut-wrenching emotional depth.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Vols. 1-3
By Jeff Boman
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a Japanese take on the American idea of superheroes.

Kaena: The Prophecy
By Amy Harlib
France's first CGI feature owes much of its inspiration to anime, its home country's graphic publication Métal Hurlant, and artists such as H. R. Giger.

Kai Doh Maru
By Emru Townsend
Kai Doh Maru has just as little character definition as Blood: The Last Vampire, but it's a lot less satisfying.

Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek
By Emru Townsend
As an atmospheric, short horror film that leans heavily on digital animation, Kakurenbo's most obvious spiritual connection is to Production I.G.'s Blood: The Last Vampire, another short horror film that leans heavily on digital animation.

Kannazuki no Miko: Destiny of Shrine Maiden Vol. 1: The Solar Priestess
By Aaron H. Bynum
As an anime big on characters realizing their destiny, do not expect independent character motivations to artfully creep up anytime soon.

Knot 3.7 [PDF]
By Staceyjoy Elkin
Wrap yourself around this nifty little program.

Koi Kaze Box Set
By Brett D. Rogers
Koi Kaze treats its taboo topics with gentle neutrality and avoids judgment.

The Lion King
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
One only has to watch the opening number to get the full effect and appreciation of this DVD transfer.

Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of Animation
By Mike Caputo
Martha Sigall's book is both a personal history and a timeline punctuated with glimpses of the industry's luminaries.

L/R: Licensed By Royalty Mission File 1
By Cynthia Ward
L/R isn't nearly sophisticated enough for its genre.

Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 2
By Marc Elias
This volume takes the collection in the direction most cartoon geeks want to see it go.

Lupin the III: The Castle of Cagliostro Special Edition
By René Walling
Castle of Cagliostro is one of the most entertaining anime films you can see.

Madagascar
By Emru Townsend
Although relatively brief at 80 minutes, there's a lot to enjoy in Madagascar.

Mangchi, the Hammerboy
By Amy Harlib
While it sometimes feels like a Miyazaki film, this Korean production offers its own delights.

Meet the Robinsons
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Meet the Robinsons is an inventive, engaging and fun film.

Mermaid Forest Vol. 3: Unquenchable Thirst
By Aaron H. Bynum
This anime is a violent fantasy, at the center of which is a young man named Yuta, a confident and bold person whom despite appearing to be in his mid-twenties, is well over five hundred years old.

Millennium Actress
By Amy Harlib
Satoshi Kon's sophomore film offers lighter yet emotionally charged, deeply romantic and even poetic fare.

Mind Game
By Amy Harlib
Mind Game presents audiences with something refreshingly different from the tropes associated in the West with most otaku-anime fare.

Mindtravel
By Emru Townsend
The DVD release of Mindtravel coincided with the International Day of Animation, and it's a fitting selection; these films are all wordless or close to it, so they showcase the art of animation with minimal distraction.

Mobile Suit Gundam-W: Endless Waltz (Anime Movie Classics)
By Aaron H. Bynum
The best and worst of Gundam-W: Endless Waltz lies in its goal of simultaneously presenting a complex moral argument on war, and a layered conflict of character.

Mulan II
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Not good, not terrible, Mulan II simply just is.

My Beautiful Girl, Mari
By Emru Townsend
This Korean feature is different from just about anything you've seen on the big screen.

My Neighbors the Yamadas and Pom Poko
By Emru Townsend
Two very different Japanese clans illustrate my admiration of Ghibli's less famous partner.

Nanaka 6/17 Vol. 1: The Not-So Magical Mishap
By Patrick Drazen
Can one gag sustain an entire series? By all indications, it will in Nanaka 6/17, because there's much more going on below the surface.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
By Ceri Young
The film itself is a gem, but a flawed one, particularly when compared to Miyazaki's later works.

Negadon: The Monster from Mars
By Ravi Swami
On viewing the whole film, it becomes apparent that director Jun Awazu has gone further than simply a transliteration of the classic "man in a rubber suit" film in CGI.

Norman McLaren: The Master's Edition
By Emru Townsend
This is a box set that no student of animation can afford to ignore.

Once Upon a Time: Walt Disney: The Sources of Inspiration for the Disney Studios
By Marco de Blois
The catalogue to the exhibit of the same name is a bit expensive, but is a great reference book that could easily be consulted in libraries.

Open Season
By Armen Boudjikanian
Open Season fails to distinguish itself from the other animal cartoons that have been produced lately, despite the fact that the film's production quality is of very high calibre.

Open Season
By Mark Mayerson
One can only hope that Imageworks creates more memorable characters and fresher stories in their future outings.

Origin: Spirits of the Past
By Emru Townsend
At its core, Origin is an adolescent power fantasy. In fact, there are two power fantasies here.

Original Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia
By Cynthia Ward
An OAV, Nolandia must have been made in a rush or on a budget.

Our Man in Nirvana
By Emru Townsend
Of the few shorts I managed to catch at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema, my single favourite was Our Man in Nirvana, a German tribute to psychedelic rock.

Paradise Kiss Vol. 1
By Terrence Briggs
Animation fans who hate realistically rendered human beings populating down-to-earth, character-driven comedy/dramas are duly warned: Paradise Kiss is not the show for you.

Paranoia Agent Vol. 3: Serial Psychosis
By Scott Schmeisser
Anyone familiar with the previous work of director Satoshi Kon should know just how wonderfully strange his work can be.

Paul McCartney: The Music and Animation Collection
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
While Mr. McCartney's name is on the title of this set, Geoff Dunbar deserves a large share of the credit as well.

Peach Girl Vols. 1 & 2
By Aaron H. Bynum
Peach Girl at its best is only moderately appealing and seems capable of only satisfying viewers with a penchant for soap operas.

Piglet's Big Movie
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Creepy. It's not exactly the first word that comes to mind when you think of a Winnie the Pooh movie.

Pinky and the Brain Volume One
By Arin Murphy-Hiscock
The blend of physical humour, deliberately ludicrous leaps in storytelling, and well-handled dark comedy are part of what make Pinky and the Brain such a success.

Pixar Short Films Collection Vol. 1

By Noell Wolfgram Evans

Like the great shorts of years gone by, the films here are "fat free"—there's nothing superfluous, not a wasted moment or overdone beat.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days
By Marc Hairston
The Place Promised in Our Early Days has to rank in the top tier of anyone's list of high-quality anime.

Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation
By Armen Boudjikanian
When one philosophizes about a cartoon show, even a show as smart and popular as The Simpsons, one can run into some problems.

Plymptoons: The Complete Early Works of Bill Plympton
By Mark Mayerson
Bill Plympton holds a unique place in modern animation. He has managed to survive while resolutely going his own way.

Pocahontas: 10th Anniversary Edition
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Pocahontas is a historically based story competently told by talented individuals, and yet as you watch it you realize that it just doesn't work.

Porco Rosso
By Marc Hairston
Porco Rosso is the most personal of Miyazaki's films.

Princess
By Emru Townsend
A man tries to shield his niece from the porn industry that exploited her mother. But at what cost?

Princess Tutu Vol. 1
By Ceri Young
What makes Princess Tutu stand out from other "magical-girl" anime are the levels of meaning it plays around with.

Quand le cinéma d'animation rencontre le vivant
By Emru Townsend
This book, which looks at the animation/live-action relationship in a new light, is vital.

Queer Duck: The Movie
By Armen Boudjikanian
This feature-length Flash film is not really limited animation; it's more like a colourized animatic with top-notch voice acting and hysterical musical numbers.

Ratatouille
By Terrence Briggs
Ratatouille is Pixar's best film since Toy Story.

Read or Die
By Emru Townsend
Best. Anime title. Ever. And the story isn't half-bad, either.

Read or Die (R.O.D.): The TV Vol. 1
By Cynthia Ward

Renaissance
By Madeline Ashby
Set in Paris, 2054, the film tells a familiar neo-noir tale about a hard-bitten cop. The blend of motion capture and rotoscope lets even small details like pinched lips or a surreptitious glance come through.

René Morel: 3D Faces Exhibition at the SAT
By Jessica Fernandes
A master of 3D photorealism, René Morel is most well known for his work on The Boxer and Final Fantasy.

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles
By Emru Townsend
The first Robotech spinoff effort to hit the screen in almost 20 years and the first not to have Carl Macek at the helm has a lot to overcome.

Robots
By Emru Townsend
The plot of Robots is charmingly old-fashioned, and in many ways so is the rest of the movie.

Samurai Champloo Vol. 1
By Emru Townsend
Samurai Champloo reaches back to hip hop's roots and revels in its legacy of inventiveness and recontextualization.

Samurai From Outer Space
By Emru Townsend
Antonia Levi looks at the Japanese-ness of Japanese animation.

Shark Tale
By Arin Murphy-Hiscock
One of Shark Tale's problems lies in the lack of a clearly defined audience for the film.

Sky Blue
By Amy Harlib
Also known as Sky Blue, Wonderful Days offers striking visuals blending 2D, 3D CGI and live-action miniatures.

Skyland
By Emru Townsend
You can tell that Skyland's creators studied a wide range of anime from various perspectives, and took the best of what they needed.

Space Pirate Captain Herlock Volume 1: The Legend Returns
By Cynthia Ward
I suppose a space pirate in an eyepatch and 1970s bellbottoms must be pretty dorky, but I think Captain Harlock looks cool.

Speed Grapher Vol. 1
By Aaron H. Bynum
Speed Grapher feels like the leftover mix of a spy thriller and a hentai anime with a working plot.

Squeak the Mouse
By Emru Townsend
Cat and mouse sex and violence.

Someday's Dreamers Lesson 1: Magical Dreamer
By Cynthia Ward
In addition to a concept, Someday's Dreamers and Kiki's Delivery Service share great art, gentle pacing, and generally low-key threats.

Someday's Dreamers Lesson 2: Power of Love
By Cynthia Ward

Someday's Dreamers Lesson 3: Precious Feelings
By Cynthia Ward
Episodes 10 to 12 tell a single story, about Yume's long dark night of the soul.

Spirit of Wonder: The Movie
By Emru Townsend
Tall tales meet boys' dreams of space and a sassy Chinese waitress.

Star Trek: The Animated Series
By Jeff LeBlanc
Filmation's Star Trek had one of the largest budgets in Saturday morning animation, but the voice cast was large and the production schedule was tight.

Star Wars: Clone Wars Vol. 1
By Emru Townsend
As assured as Clone Wars is as a series, it stumbles as a DVD.

Star Wars: Clone Wars Vol. 2
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
The stories on this DVD sre not self-contained enough to stand on their own and at the same time they are not linked tightly enough to create a cohesive story.

Starship Operators Vol. 1: Revolution
By Aaron H. Bynum
Combining the military drama, the traditional space epic and the teen drama, Starship Operators is, for the most part, just another adventure series.

Steamboy
By René Walling
The film is filled with the fantastic destruction of massive steam-powered machines, each of which is larger and more unlikely than the previous one.

Stitch! The Movie
By Emru Townsend
Stitch! squanders Lilo & Stitch's considerable charm on a premise that's so close to Pokemon it'll make your teeth ache.

Storytelling Through Animation
By Mark Mayerson
While there is useful information in the book, it is buried under too much detail and smothered in clumsy writing.

Strata 3D CX
By Mike Caputo
Strata 3D CX is no doubt a powerful package, with some features to make anyone stop and take a close look.

Symphonic Suite Akira
By Emru Townsend
Symphonic Suite Akira provides the soundtrack to a movie and one boy's mental anguish.

The Amazing Lives of the Fast-food Grifters
By Emru Townsend
Tachigui is that strange kind of comedy where everything is over the top yet played straight, so that it's hysterically funny but you barely laugh.

Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo
By Terrence Briggs
Teen Titans, an animated series that fuses Japanese animation stylings and American writing sensibilities, goes to Japan.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward Season One: Future Shellshock!
By Terrence Briggs
Proof positive that a series can improve by becoming more conventional.

Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949-1993
By Emru Townsend
The first 55 years of television animation laid bare.

Tetsujin 28 Vol. 1: Monster Resurrected
By Aaron H. Bynum
Tetsujin 28, a new animated television series produced only within the past couple of years, resurrects the franchise with hopes of offering new generations of animation fans a healthy taste of history.

Texhnolyze Vol. 1: Inhumane & Beautiful
By Cynthia Ward
"e;Inhumane and beautiful" perfectly describes this brilliant, disturbing, dystopic anime.

Thinking Animation: Bridging the Gap Between 2D and CGI
By Mark Mayerson
This book is several books in one, and unfortunately much of the extra material doesn't relate to the subject.

The Tick vs. Season One
By Emru Townsend
In a sense, The Tick is perhaps the most faithful animated comic-book adaptation ever.

Time Stranger
By Cynthia Ward
If you take every event literally, Time Stranger doesn't make logical sense, and the conclusion is a mystery.

Tokyo Godfathers
By Amy Harlib
Satoshi Kon's third feature is more linear that his previous work, but just as compelling.

Toy Story 10th Anniversary Edition
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Has it really been ten years since we were first introduced to Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear and, for many, Pixar?

Treasures of Disney Animation Art
By Emru Townsend
A (tiny) look at the art of the Disney studio.

A Tree of Palme
By Amy Harlib
Director Takashi Nakamura's most recent feature offers a dazzling allegorical science-fantasy tale rich in entertainment value and meaning.

Tunes for 'Toons
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Daniel Goldmark's book is a watershed look at the use of music in animation.

Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther
By Emru Townsend
If you're an old-school comics fan and an admirer of the DC adaptations, you might find yourself watching Ultimate Avengers 2 and constantly thinking of its almosts.

UltraFractal 4.02 Animation Edition
By Eleanor Allen
Frederik Slijkerman's UltraFractal 4.02 program is something that could only have been dreamt about back when Mandelbrot's book, The Fractal Geometry of Nature, first came out in 1977.

Understanding 3D Animation Using Maya
By Mark Mayerson
Understanding 3D Animation Using Maya provides a solid start for anyone looking to learn the software or the basic principles of 3D.

Urusei Yatsura: Remember My Love and Lum the Forever
By Cynthia Ward
Urusei Yatsura is the I Love Lucy of anime.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
By Emru Townsend
Perhaps Curse of the Were-Rabbit's only problem is how delightful it is, or rather its particular brand of delightfulness.

Wallace and Gromit in Three Amazing Adventures
By Cynthia Ward
Wallace and Gromit are, if not England's most famous animated couple, then certainly its most engaging.

Walt Disney Treasures Wave 3
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
These DVDs should be welcome, not just by Disney aficionados, but by animation students and history buffs as well.

Walt Disney: Conversations
By Mark Mayerson
This book is a collection of interviews with Walt Disney that appeared in a variety of publications from 1929 to his death in 1966.

Walt Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites Vols. 1-4
By Emru Townsend
Remastered Disney shorts + no extras = no foresight.

Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Goofy, Volume Three and Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Huey, Dewey and Louie, Volume Four
By Noell Wolfgram Evans
In many ways this series is a "Disney Treasures Lite" as nearly all of the shorts on each disc have previously appeared in that highly regarded series.

Walt's People: Talking Disney with the Artists Who Knew Him, Vols 1 & 2
By Mark Mayerson
Didier Ghez, the editor of these two volumes, knew how many interviews with Walt Disney's associates were sitting in drawers and decided to do something about it.

What It's Like Being Alone
By Tamu Townsend
A series of this type—on the CBC, made by Canadians, and during prime-time—is the type of thing that makes people straighten up and take notice.

Witch Hunter Robin Vol. 1: Arrival
By Emru Townsend
Witch Hunter Robin Vol. 1 has a great premise and fantastic design, but it'll need more to carry the series.

Women and Animation: A Compendium
By René Walling
Rather than destroying the cohesion of the book, the varied and sometimes contradictory viewpoints strengthen it.

Women Do Animate: Interviews with Ten Australian Women Animators
By René Walling
Seeing the appallingly small amount of published material on Australian animation, Marian Quigley set out to correct the situation by interviewing ten women from Down Under who animate.

Worlds of Amano
By René Walling
Worlds of Amano is an overview of just part of this incredibly creative and productive artist's career, from the mid-eighties to the turn of the millennium.

Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games
By Cynthia Ward
Writing for Animation, Comics, and Games shows writers how to enter and succeed in these three related but very different fields.
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