The animated Superman from Max and Dave Fleischer

‘The Complete Animated Superman’ – The original classics on Amazon Prime

The Complete Superman Collection (1941-1943) – “Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The infant of Krypton is now the Man of Steel: Superman!” The 17 animated shorts produced by Max Fleischer between 1941 and 1943 were the first big screen incarnation of […]

‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ and other animated adventures on Hulu

Marvel Comics has DC beat when it comes to bringing their characters to the big screen but in the realm of animation DC rules, from the 1990s cartoon noir of Batman through the great array of Cartoon Network shows to the direct-to-digital DC Universe Original Animation productions of the past decade. They now number over […]

Brad Bird directs the animated feature based on the Ted Hughes book

‘The Iron Giant’ – A boy and his robot buddy on Netflix

“I’m the luckiest kid in the world,” cheers adolescent Hogarth, halfway to sci-fi heaven in the hand of a friendly ten story robot— a clanking metal man who acts like a combination little brother, big brother, and playful puppy dog all rolled into one magnificent structure who looks like he stepped off a vintage cover […]

The Belladonna of Sadness from Japan, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto

‘The Belladonna of Sadness’ on Amazon Prime and Fandor

The Belladonna of Sadness (Japan, 1973), a lost classic of Japanese animation, is an erotic drama by definition, but it is quite a sophisticated one that is part subversive folk tale, part rock ballad musical, and part experimental filmmaking. Set in an unnamed kingdom in an abstracted medieval Europe, it’s a provocative film about female […]

Animation on Blu-ray: ‘Your Name,’ ‘Napping Princess,’ ‘In This Corner of the World’ from Japan

Your Name. (Funimation, Blu-ray, DVD) Napping Princess (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray, DVD) In This Corner of the World (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray, DVD) Japanese animator and filmmaker Makoto Shinkai turns his own young adult novel into Your Name. (Japan, 2016), an animated feature that brings a fresh approach to the classic comic situation of body swapping. In […]

Steven Spielberg directs the big screen adventure adapted from the Herge graphic novels

‘The Adventures of Tintin’ on Netflix

The Adventures of Tintin (2011), Steven Spielberg’s first foray into motion capture filmmaking, turns the legendary boy journalist and globe-trotting adventurer from the early graphic novels of Herge into a big screen hero, complete with trademark cowlick and best friend canine Snowy watching his back. Spielberg and his collaborators (notably co-producer Peter Jackson) chose to […]

Blu-ray: ‘DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection’ on Warner

DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Blu-ray) Warner Bros. is struggling to create its own live-action superhero universe on the big screen to compete with the huge, interconnected Marvel Comics Universe, and mostly falling short. But for the past decade, Warner Home Video has been producing a steady series of direct-to-disc animated […]

Adam West, Burt Ward, William Shatner, and Julie Newmar voice the characters in this animate feature

Blu-ray Animated Originals: ‘Batman vs. Two-Face’ and ‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ Commemorative Edition

Batman vs. Two-Face (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD) The 2016 DC Animated Movie Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, featuring Adam West and Burt Ward, stars of the campy original 1960s TV series Batman, as the voices of Batman and Robin and Julie Newmar reprising her purr as Catwoman, proved popular enough to inspire a sequel. Batman […]

‘My Life as a Zucchini’ – Oscar-nominated animation from France on Netflix

The Academy Award-nominated animated feature My Life as a Zucchini (France, 2016) uses stop-motion animation to tell the bitter-sweet story of an imaginative, vulnerable boy nicknamed Zucchini who is orphaned after the death of his abusive, alcoholic mother and sent to a foster home. But while it is set in France (the view from Zucchini’s […]