Monday, February 03, 2014

Robot Carnival

Robot Carnival (1987) is one of the earlier animes I remember watching.  I caught it off the Sci-Fi Channel many years back.  It's an anthology series of nine short stories concerning robots made by different creators with various art styles.  If one short doesn't work for you, another might.  It being so varied though was one of the draws for me. Some of the stories are comical while others are dramatic.  I wasn't very well versed on anime, about all I knew about it at the time was Robotech, and this help give me an idea of how varied if could be.  There's a streamer of the series over on Youtube if you might be interested in watching the series.

I caught a very oddball Australian film over the weekend, called Bad Boy Buddy.  I pretty much went into it without knowing much of anything about it, which if you are an adventurous movie watcher is the best way to go, and I'd suggest that way to view it as well.  So I won't give away spoilers here, but just say that I'm sure there's many things on the film that will turn off many viewers.  For one, there's nudity, and that might be enough to cause some people to avoid it, but also some animal cruelty, incest, profanity, and so the list goes.  I think the writer and director, de Heer, might have thrown in the kitchen sink as far as what might offend some people, but I think he was aiming at an exploratory, original experimental film, not so much one that would offend someone, but maybe shock one out of their normal doldrums of film watching.  And he succeeded as for my take on the film.  The first part of the film was a bit slow, and I wondered where the films was going or even what type genre of  film I was watching.  I thought it might be a low budget sci-fi at first, but once Bubby left home, and was out on his own, the pace picked up, and darn if it didn't get more interesting.  I even found myself laughing at parts of it despite some of the offensive material.  It's a crazy, nutter film, but if you're an adventurous film fan, check it out. 


At 7:56 PM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Robot Carnival is one of those that comes up all the time, and I somehow managed to miss it. It sounds very intriguing, and from the era of anime that I really enjoy (the 1980s and 1990s). The screen capture shows that older style of animation, and I really miss that variety of styles. I'll have to check it out.

As for the other flick, well I might have to check that out when my wife isn't around. Any time any animal gets hurt in a movie she pretty much refuses to watch it. Even if it's part of the story. But your description intrigued me. :)

At 9:14 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

I miss the older anime styles to Roman, if fact sort of prefer them. The modern stuff is too much alike for me, particularly in drawing the human forms and faces.

I wonder how or why the artist conformed to drawing particularly their heads and large eyes in that manner. Perhaps it's some shorthand, so that the personalities might show thru? I don't know enough about the culture of anime. But it did seem more diverse with the older styles. Do check out Robot Carnival though, with nine short films, you're bound to find some that you'll enjoy, and probably know some of the artist featured.

I chuckled a bit about the animal cruelty bit, although I understand. I guess what strikes me funny is that we can watch humans get killed off all day long and not flinch. But yes, it sometimes gets to me too, and I love furry critters too. Those particular scenes involve a cat, so if that bothers someone, you might want to avoid the film, but the main character later finds a cat and cherishes it, so it's not like he hates animals. He's been sheltered from life so he's mentally handicapped and slow.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger SFF said...

El Vox.

Just catching up a little, but Robot Carnival sounds very interesting.

I have not heard of it, but like the looks of it. I will check it out on You Tube as the DVD appears to be scarce or unavailable.

I see Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Steamboy) has a story too.

I'll be sure to look for it.

Like both you and Roman, I enjoy the hand drawn animation, the CGI is just so damn slick sometimes. It's too slick and polished for its own good. It often lacks all of the penciled and detailed warmth of the old school animation.

I'm pretty sure Bubby will remain in my WILL NEVER SEE file. ha. But ya never know. Though your comment shed further light on the story. Interesting.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Hey SFF, I'm still a newbie when it comes to anime, and I'll admit I'm a bit biased. I prefer live action, particularly if it's just going to be a drama, romance, or comedy.

It's been a while since I've seen Robot Carnival, though I have a VHS that I recorded off the SF Channel, which looks like where the one off YT came from as well.

Ha, well, to each their own with Bubby. I know it's not going to be to everyone's taste. But that's the great things about films, something for everyone. :)

At 5:38 AM, Blogger SFF said...

I checked out Robot Carnival. Impressive my friend. I also happened upon Light Years. That one looks great as well - animation not anime. Thanks for the tip.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Yes, I think Robot Carnival still holds up, I'm surprised it never made it to DVD, to my knowledge.

Yes, Light Years is cool, I watched that not long ago, good SF animation.


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