Select Page

Animation at the New Zealand International Film Festival – Week One.

July 28, 2014

Squibble at NZIFF – Week One

The New Zealand International Film Festival is on right now, which means it’s animation month here at the Squibble Blog!

I am very excited to have booked tickets for:

  • The Congress
  • The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya
  • Patema Inverted

Over the weekend I saw the first two films on my list, The Congress and The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.


The Congress

Robin Wright stars as herself, playing an aging Hollywood star who signs away her likeness in the last movie contract she will ever have. While there were a few plot holes, the animated segment of the film was stunning, which the director Ari Folman says was in part “…a tribute to the great Fleischer Brothers‘ work from the 30‘s. It‘s hand drawn, made in 8 different countries and took two and a half years to create 55 minutes of animation.” Several different animation studios created the animation for the film.

You can see the Fleischer influence in this rough animation clip from Dogstudio on Vimeo:

sc 47 lt-light2 from Dogstudio on Vimeo.

More Information About The Congress:

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Earlier this year I went to see Hayao Miyazaki’s last film: The Wind Rises.

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness goes behind the scenes at Studio Ghibli while the studio is working on both The Wind Rises and their latest film The Tale of Princess Kaguya. The documentary shows just how much hard work goes into a hand-drawn animated film, from story-boarding to the animation process, casting decisions, voiceover work and promotion.

Hayao Miyazaki is hard at work finishing The Wind Rises, while in Studio Ghibli’s second studio Isao Takahata is also towards a joint release date – but will The Tale of Princess Kaguya be finished in time? It’s up to producer Toshio Suzuki to gently move each film towards completion.

If you are a Studio Ghibli fan, this is a must-see. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the best highlights of the film for me were the quiet interviews with Hayao Miyazaki that revealed insights into his film-making process, as well as personal anecdotes.

More Information About The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness:

(see also this extended Japanese Trailer Preview)

A Quick Word About Ernest and Celestine…

Although it is not officially part of the NZIFF, I started off my animation month with Ernest and Celestine, which is currently playing at the Paramount here in Wellington.

I enjoyed the film very much. The story is very heart-warming, and the beautiful animation style is painterly, drawing inspiration from Gabrielle Vincent’s original illustrations.

Behind the Scenes – Animating Ernest and Celestine:

This is another must-see!

Next Week at NZIFF:

Patema Inverted, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya!