The main reason I want a career in animation is because I love stories. I love writing stories, publishing stories, and recording stories. Video combines my passion for music and story telling in the ultimate medium. And animation is the magic.
My love for animation translates as: I watch a lot of movies and cartoons. I’m basically a self-proclaimed movie mavin. 2018 had a lot of great films, but these three in particular were my favorites and, to my surprise, did not get the appreciation they deserved.
1. A Quiet Place (April 2018)
I DON’T LIKE HORROR MOVIES. There. Now that that’s out of the way, this movie is scary but not in a horror-esque way. It’s more of a sci-fi thriller that makes you feel you’re breathing too loud. Probably one of the only films you can safely see with that friend who talks through every movie. I dare you to try with this one! (You know who you are…)
One sentence summary: Join a family of four—about to become five—as they try to survive in a world where making a sound makes an alien species attack.
The cinematography is phenomenal, and the style reminds me of Mad Max Fury Road (another one of my all-time favorites). This film pairs nicely with Netflix’s Bird Box.
A Quiet Place = sense of sound (hear no evil)
Bird Box = sense of sight (see no evil)
What will come next? Taste, touch, smell, or perhaps, “speak no evil”?
2. Mortal Engines (December 2018)
When I watch a movie I try to keep my expectations low. I never read the books from this series so I had no idea what to expect other than the trailer reminded me of Fishy – the game where you eat and try not to get eaten!
I won’t write a full movie review but the characters were actually unique. The female lead was powerful but still feminine—a difficult balance. And the male lead was masculine but not the typical Hercules-hero-type. All of the characters were so relatable it was like finding an old shirt you loved but forgot you had.
“Oh yeah! That’s what good character’s feel like!”
My only complaint is that the characters don’t say each other’s names enough. I pride myself on being pretty good with character names. But I had a hard time figuring out who was who and who they were talking about in this film. I don’t need it to be really obnoxious, but hearing the names a couple more times would have helped.
One sentence summary: A goofy traction-city (mobile-city) dweller accidentally gets involved with anti-traction rebels and has to find a way to save the citizens of both worlds.
That’s the best I can do with one sentence. But seriously, it’s like Howl’s Moving Castle and Mad Max had a secret love child who became a prodigy. I want another one!
3. Smallfoot (September 2018)
Confession: I did not see this film in theaters.
I know. I know. Please don’t glare at me like that, I feel bad enough already. But the trailers did not make this film seem interesting: Yetis discover a human…A classic reversal of a beloved myth…meh.
BUT. When I finally watched it I was blown away by the story and comedic timing. My animation teacher hammered us to “find the right timing” for our clips. It’s a sixth-sense that can only be learned with time and practice, and the animators behind Smallfoot have the best sense of timing I’ve seen since I learned that was a thing. (The Emperor’s New Groove also comes to mind.)
Although the plot seems thin, it’s only because they want you to think that. I’ll try not to give to much away. SPOILER ALERT: There’s a screaming goat!
One sentence summary: A village of Yetis face an alarming discovery, and one brave soul goes on a journey to prove that he’s not crazy—smallfoot exists!
This film is fun and funny and also touches a challenging topic similar to the Croods. Is it better to live or be alive?
Time for the honorable mentions that didn’t make the cut. (For the best experience play the song below and imagine the movie poster projected on the screen…C’mon. It’ll be fun.)
Did I leave out your favorite? Please let me know. I might have missed it!
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
Would you like to share your story on Windmill Ways? Apply here.