I don’t know if this statement will be controversial (probably not), but….has there ever been a good Heidi movie? I remember sitting through one as a small kid and being bored out of my mind. Somewhere in the Hanna-Barbera vaults is “Heidi’s Song,” an animated movie that came out in 1981 and was greeted with such indifference that it’s never been seen again aside from scattered TV airings a few years later. Heidi just…doesn’t have it. To make a truly entertaining movie about the Swiss girl with pigtails, we might have to resort to spicing things up a bit.
Every year, Fathom Events lines up a row of Studio Ghibli movies and picks a weekend or two each month to individually screen them. Some movies only reappear from Fathom on the bluest of moons, but Ghibli is a reliable enough attraction to always generate a crowd.
Before there was anime, the most popular Japanese import the West knew about was Godzilla. Born from postwar anxieties, the radioactive lizard would stomp his way through dozens of films over the next 50 years. A handful of them have been created by American studios who thought they could do better, but Godzilla will always feel most at home in Tokyo.
A generation of tough-guy action movies were defined in 1982 with the release of Conan The Barbarian to theaters. Now, multiple decades later, you can see all of Arnie’s muscles up close as Conan and his sword return to the big screen for two nights only, courtesy of Fathom Events.
In 2009 a new stop-motion movie called Coraline appeared in some theaters, and as it was from a brand-new animation company located in my home town, I had to go support it with a ticket. For the very first movie created by a studio founded by a shoe company, the thing turned out to be very good. It made a respectable haul, too, putting Laika on the map and allowing them to continue to make stop-motion films for the next decade or so.
In the deregulated 1980s, every popular children’s toy got its own movie. And then starting in the 2000s every popular children’s toy from the same era got its own movie AGAIN, with some results better than others. So when we say “GI Joe The Movie,” we are talking about the animated 1987 feature, not anything made afterward.
They say it’s better late than never, but this time they must really mean it. Fathom Events has just announced the US theatrical debut of two Macross movies, Macross Frontier: The False Songstress and Macross Frontier: The Wings of Farewell. The first of these movies was released in Japan back in 2009.
One of the titles that led the way for anime’s breakthrough in the West during the 90s was the four-part OVA Macross Plus. If you remember renting this from a Blockbuster VHS shelf and watching it on a 13-inch Trinitron, there’s good news ahead: a much better, much clearer, much BIGGER version is coming. Macross Plus Movie Edition is a remastered re-edit of the four-part series into one massive movie, adding additional scenes that weren’t part of the original.
We’re now less than a week away from the start of Fathom Events’ 2021 Ghibli Fest. It’s been a while since Miyazaki’s finest were projected on the big screen, but your chance is once again coming. From October through December, four of Ghibli’s most iconic pictures will be screened for a couple of nights only. Both dubbed and subbed versions will be available, on different nights.
We’re close enough to October that Spirit Halloweens are taking over all our vacant big box locations again, and that also means Fathom Events is readying the return of some classic horror flicks to the big screen. The odd thing about the 2021 lineup is that, since it overlaps with some previously announced family-oriented releases, they have simply folded them into the list as “scary” ones. We suppose Howl’s Moving Castle or Paranorman could scare the pants off a 3-year-old, but for anyone old enough to actually be in a movie theater it’s a bit of a stretch.
Just think…If Jim Henson hadn’t dawdled on visiting his doctor, he might have been 85 years old next month. But the things he left with us are still here, like his legendary collaboration project with George Lucas and David Bowie: Labyrinth.
In 2009 I took a trip to the mall to support a film that just came out called Coraline. It was from a new animation studio — and a local one — called Laika, and I wanted to support them so they would survive. Fortunately, the film itself turned out to be pretty good, and it set the foundation for 15 years of stop-motion animated features like The Boxtrolls, Missing Link, and the criminally underrated Kubo and the Two Strings. Not all of them have been box office breadwinners, but none have been critical duds.