Next Club Meeting: July 20, 2024, at the Fountaindale Public Library in Bolingbrook from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Animatrix Network is an anime & manga fan club located in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. We usually meet on the third Saturday of each month (except when holidays or conventions coincide). The meetings are free and open to the public. Join us for a day filled with anime.

This site provides news, reviews, commentaries, and previews of the world of anime and everything it inspires, such as live-action films, comics, music, art, and other weird things to enjoy and contemplate.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Watership Down author Richard Adams dies at 96

(May 9, 1920December 24, 2016)
[Source: blastr] Acclaimed British author Richard Adams passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 96 years, just short of the fabled century mark.  If you are of a certain age, growing up in the 1970s, reading Adams' Watership Down was sort of a rite of passage, leading to lifetimes of reading, imagining and dreaming of living with the heroic rabbits Fiver, Bigwig, Hazel, Holly and Blackberry.

The 1972 novel was actually classified as a children's book when it reached America but it transcended that limited definition with its complex world of brutality, politics, religion, hope and despair among tribes of intelligent rabbits.  A better, more modern interpretation might be "Game of Thrones with bunnies."  I first read the thick 400-page paperback novel when I was 11, and while I wasn't immediately aware of the more sophisticated philosophical and psychological components of Adams' saga, it was an extremely emotional and rewarding read.  I highly recommend picking up a copy if you have not had the pleasure of Adams' poignant prose.
W A T E R S H I P   D O W N
The award-winning book centered around the lives of English rabbits has gone on to sell 50 million copies and remains a constant selection in classrooms, book clubs and library wait lists around the world.  A 1978 animated film directed by Martin Rosen delivered a faithful adaptation of the novel and a new BBC mini-series is currently in production, this time rendering the Watership Down rabbits in CGI.  Apparently the idea of his rabbits being brought back to life by the BBC in 2017 offered the author "great composure and comfort" in his waning hours.

“I assured him that he was much loved, that he had done great work, that many people loved his books,” his daughter Juliet Johnson told BBC Radio 4.
Besides Watership Down, Adams also wrote Shardik, the 1974 fantasy tale of a mythological great bear and the young hunter pursuing it. A collection of 19 short stories, titled Tales From Watership Down, was published in 1996 and returned to the familiar warrens of the legendary rabbits introduced in the original novel.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Debbie Reynolds dies at age 84

(April 1, 1932December 28, 2016)
[Source: Yahoo!News] Debbie Reynolds passes away just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, dies of a heart attack. Debbie Reynolds, the indefatigable star of Singin’ in the Rain, who bounced back time and again on the strength of a career that spanned the golden age of the Hollywood musical to the new golden age of TV, died on Dec. 28 at the age of 84 in Los Angeles. Her death came just one day after she endured the cruelest blow possible, when her daughter, Star Wars actress and writer Carrie Fisher, died on Dec. 27 at age 60, following a heart attack.

“She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken,” her son, Todd Fisher, told the AP on Wednesday.
Debbie Reynolds with Baby Carrie Fisher
A onetime Oscar nominee, Reynolds appeared in more than 50 movies. She is best remembered for playing alongside Gene Kelly and Donald O’Conner in 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain. The joyful film is typically cited as the greatest movie musical of all-time. Other big-screen credits included The Unsinkable Molly Brown and How the West Was Won. She played the title role in the Albert Brooks comedy Mother and was unrecognizable as Liberace’s mother in the acclaimed HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra. She once knocked Elvis Presley from the top of the charts, earned Tony and Emmy nods, won a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild, as well as an honorary Academy Award.

Reynolds’ best role might have been that of survivor. “I’ll keep singing and dancing until I’m too old to stand up,” she said.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pixar goes to the Land of the Dead

Next Pixar movie, Coco is about a
magic guitar that opens a door to the 
Land of the Dead 
[Source: blastr] Pixar is usually at its best when playing with a premise a bit outside the box, and Coco certainly seems to fit the bill.

The studio has revealed the first photo from the film, which focuses on a young boy named Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) who acquires the guitar of legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt). Miguel’s family has banned music, but he uses the magic guitar to visit the Land of the Dead in a search for de la Cruz. The story looks to be steeped in real-life culture, the pressure of which is not lost on director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3). He told Entertainment Weekly:

“The day John Lasseter gave the thumbs up for this movie, I immediately felt this huge weight drop onto my shoulders because I knew that we were doing something different than we had ever made at the studio and that for the first time, we were going to have this enormous responsibility to do right by this culture and not lapse into stereotype or cliché.”

Coco is scheduled to open November 22, 2017.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Actress Carrie Fisher dies at age 60

(October 21, 1956December 27, 2016)
[Source:] Carrie Fisher, the actress best known as Star Wars‘ Princess Leia Organa, has died after suffering a heart attack. She was 60.

Family spokesman Simon Halls released a statement on behalf of Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd:

“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning. She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd, 24. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Fisher was flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital.

The daughter of renowned entertainers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Fisher was brought up in the sometimes tumultuous world of film, theater and television.

Debbie Reynolds with Baby Carrie Fisher
Escaping Hollywood in 1973, the star enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she spent over a year studying acting.

Just two years later, though, the bright lights of Hollywood drew her back, and Fisher made her film debut in the Warren Beatty-led Shampoo.

Her role in Star Wars would follow in 1977 – and she detailed the experience, including her on-set affair with costar Harrison Ford, in her  latest memoir, The Princess Diarist. She was only 19 when the first installment of the beloved sci-fi franchise was filmed.

In addition to the second and third Star Wars films – and last year’s The Force Awakens – Fisher starred in 1980’s The Blues Brothers, The Man with One Red Shoe, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986 and, later, When Harry Met Sally. 
Fisher wed musician Paul Simon in 1983. It was an explosive marriage, according to Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon author Peter Ames Carlin, and was cut short by swinging stages of depression, the actress’s drug use and an array of personal insecurities. The relationship continued, though, on-and-off for several years after the pair divorced in 1984.
Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher
Fisher was candid about her substance abuse issues over the decades, starting at only age 13 when she began smoking marijuana. She said she later dabbled in drugs like cocaine and LSD. Fisher explored her own issues with addiction in her 1987 bestselling, semi-autobiographical novel, Postcards from the Edge, which was later turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep. 
“I never could take alcohol. I always said I was allergic to alcohol, and that’s actually a definition to alcoholism — an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind,” Fisher told the Herald-Tribune in 2013. “So I didn’t do other kinds of drugs until I was about 20. Then, by the time I was 21 it was LSD. I didn’t love cocaine, but I wanted to feel any way other than the way I did, so I’d do anything.”

In 1985, Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she subsequently became an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.

Throughout much of the ’90s, Fisher focused on her writing career, publishing Surrender the Pink and Delusions of Grandma. In addition, Fisher helped craft the scripts for numerous Hollywood films, going uncredited, for films like The Wedding Singer, Hook and Sister Act.
Billie Lourd, Fisher’s only child, was born in July 1992. The Scream Queens star’s father, talent agent Bryan Lourd, dated Fisher for three years and is now married to Bruce Bozzi.
In 2005, Fisher was recognized with the Women of Vision Award by the Women in Film & Video – DC. Three years later, Fisher’s Wishful Drinking autobiography was turned into a one-woman stage show and eventually an HBO documentary.

In 2005, Fisher was recognized with the Women of Vision Award by the Women in Film & Video – DC. Three years later, Fisher’s Wishful Drinking autobiography was turned into a one-woman stage show and eventually an HBO documentary.
Just last month, Fisher also revealed her surprising on-set affair with Star Wars costar Harrison Ford in The Princess Diarist, telling PEOPLE of the three-month fling during the making of the 1977 movie, “It was so intense.” The memoir, which drew from Fisher’s old diaries and notebooks, brought up mixed feelings for the actress.

“I had forgotten that I’d written them, and I’ve never written diaries sort of like that,” she said. “I write when I’m upset … it was about two or three months of upset.”

Fisher added, “It was sad because I was so insecure, and it’s very raw and obviously I didn’t expect anyone — including myself, I suppose later on — to read it.”

She is survived by her mom Debbie Reynolds, daughter Lourd, brother Todd Fisher, half-sisters Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Celebrate the Yuletide with ALIEN Blood

Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.
In Theaters - May 19, 2017
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby
Directed by: Ridley Scott

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

First Glimpse of BLADE RUNNER 2049

Warner Bros. says of “Blade Runner 2049,” due next year:

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Denis Villeneuve, who directed “Prisoners,” “Enemy,” “Sicario” and “Arrival,” helms from a screenplay by Hampton Fancher (“Blade Runner”) and Michael Green (“Green Lantern”).

Thursday, December 22, 2016

R  O  L  L  H  U  N  T  E  R  S
“For the glory of Merlin, daylight is mine to command.” We’re only two days away from the hotly anticipated premiere of Guillermo del Toro’s Netflix series Trollhunters and to whet our appetite for the magical offering, a new clip has been released.

Executive produced by Marc Guggenheim (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow) and Guillermo del Toro, based on the YA book penned by del Toro and Daniel Kraus, DreamWorks Animation’s new series features a stellar voice cast that includes Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, The Simpsons), Charlie Saxton (Betas) and the late Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Beyond) as the hero of the piece, a fifteen year-old teenager named Jim Lake Jr. 

In the clip below, Jim raises an ancient mystical amulet and reads the incantation (see above) to become a Trollhunter, a defender of the creatures that live hidden beneath the streets of the town of Arcadia. The sequence looks absolutely gorgeous (it's DreamWorks after all) and there’s even a fun How to Train Your Dragon Easter egg thrown in for good measure. Like Jim says: “This is so freaking cool!” The 23-episode first season of Trollhunters will drop on Netflix on Dec. 23.

When ordinary teenager Jim Lake Jr. stumbles upon a mystical amulet on his way to school one morning, he inadvertently discovers an extraordinary secret civilization of mighty trolls beneath his small town of Arcadia. Strong-willed and seeking adventure but wholly unprepared for the responsibilities thrust upon him, Jim is forced to take on the exalted mantle of Trollhunter, sworn to protect the good trolls from powerful enemies bent on revenge. The first human ever to hold the honor, Jim abruptly goes from fighting his way through the daily mayhem of high school to joining a war that has raged for centuries, a conflict that now threatens all of mankind and troll-kind alike.

Accompanied by his closest human friends and a few key troll allies, the courageous fifteen-year-old must plunge headlong into a fantastical world of astonishing creatures, glorious cities, and fierce enemies desperate to destroy him. Suddenly destined to play a crucial role in an ancient battle of good and evil with stakes that couldn’t be higher, Jim is determined to save the world — right after gym class. DreamWorks’ Trollhunters is a heroic tale that uncoils with ambitious, complex storytelling and stunning visuals that raise the bar for animated series, creating an event series that will thrill the entire family.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Forest Whitaker returns as Saw Gerrera

[Source: blastr] After bringing Saw Gerrera to life in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, it’s been officially announced that Forest Whitaker will be reprising the role of the Rebel insurgent in Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels
The character was first introduced in the previous Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars, where Saw fought alongside a then-Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker before making the jump to live action with Rogue One. And now the character is returning to his animated roots with Star Wars Rebels, and he’s bringing Whitaker with him. Here’s what Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni said (via Entertainment Weekly) about Whitaker's research into the character:

“Forest really wanted to know a lot about the character. He watched The Clone Wars episodes with his character and I had some detail for him about things George [Lucas] and I discussed. It gave him more time to develop the character as far as, ‘How did he get there?’”
Saw will meet up with the Ghost crew during a two-part episode titled “Ghost of Geonosis,” kicking off on Jan. 7. In the clip and video featurette below — which includes an explosive entrance from Saw, video interviews and some cool concept art — seems like we’ll see the very early beginnings of the Death Star (the title is a direct Clone Wars reference to the planet where the Empire’s weapon of mass destruction was first built), except no one knows this is going to be the Death Star yet.

Filoni worked with Lucasfilm story group chief Kiri Hart and Rogue One helmer Gareth Edwards to work out a way to bring a younger Saw Gerrera to the world of Rebels. And he’s far from the version we saw in the movie.

“He’s not quite as beat up as you see him [in Rogue One],” Filoni says. “I never wanted to go into a lengthy thing about this is how Saw lost his foot. It’s more about his philosophy and who he is and what he thinks about the Rebellion — and how they go about resisting the Empire.”

Check out the video below, and let us know what you think about Forest Whitaker reprising the role of Saw Gerrera for Star Wars Rebels. Are you excited to see the character return to fight the good fight alongside the Ghost crew come January?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

First Trailer for Despicable Me 3

Check out the first trailer for the next sequel to the Despicable Me franchise, starring Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell, and Miranda Cosgrove!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide 2016

[Source: ToonZone] It’s holiday gift guide time! We’re in the last stretch of 2016, and we’ve been racking our brains for special gifts for friends and family for the holidays. Everyone loves that warm and fuzzy feeling you get as you see the smile on someone’s face when you’ve given them a gift that means something to them. In this gift guide we’ll go over some of the gifts we’re looking to get for our loved ones (and maybe a few special treats for ourselves), and through this hopefully help you narrow down the list of potential gifts for the fellow fans and collectors in your life. This Holiday Gift Guide consists entirely of ideas voted in by ToonZone’s crew. Participants created a gift suggestions list. From there, a master list was created. Each of us selected our top ten gifts and assigned them a point value from 1-10. The gift ideas with the highest point value made this list.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rogue One Easter Eggs You May Have Missed

Did you catch these little details in Rogue One?
The Star Wars universe is a pretty complex place, and it gets a little more complex with every episode of Rebels, every tie-in comic and novel, and best of all, when a highly continuity-dependent movie like Rogue One is released. Every tenuous connection makes the experience a little richer, no matter how hard the director tries to hide these things in the fabric of the film. Here are a few Rogue One Easter eggs you probably didn't notice. Oh, and if you haven't seen Rogue One yet, brace for impact: spoilers ahead...
  • Blue Harvest | 0:27
  • Where there's a Whill… | 1:03
  • The not-so-good Doctor | 1:49
  • The worst job in the universe | 2:20
  • Budget dejarik and cave monsters | 3:04
  • Like father, like son | 3:59
  • The Rebels connection | 5:05
  • Blasting womp rats | 6:07
  • Red Five | 6:40
You can read more here →

Saturday, December 17, 2016

GKIDS to Release Studio Ghibli’s “Ocean Waves”

[Source: ToonZone News] GKIDS, the producer and distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences, announced that it will release Studio Ghibli’s OCEAN WAVES, which has been unreleased in the U.S. until now. The film will play starting on December 28th at IFC Center in New York, and one night only in Los Angeles at the Egyptian Theatre, in a new 4K restoration. The film will then be released on home video formats in Spring 2017.

OCEAN WAVES is directed by Tomomi Mochizuki and written by Kaori Nakamura, which was adapted from a novel of the same name by Saeko Himuro. The film was originally made in 1993 for Japanese television.
Rarely seen outside of Japan, OCEAN WAVES is a subtle, poignant and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships.

OCEAN WAVES was the first Studio Ghibli film directed by someone other than studio founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, as director Tomomi Mochizuki led a talented staff of younger employees in an adaptation of Saeko Himuro’s best-selling novel. Full of shots bathed in a palette of pleasingly soft pastel colors and rich in the unexpected visual details typical of Studio Ghibli’s most revered works, OCEAN WAVES is an accomplished teenage drama and a true discovery.

GKIDS is the acclaimed producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an unrivaled eight Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations – second only to Disney/Pixar – with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, and Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016. GKIDS is an executive producer of Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner, which is slated to release stateside in 2017. GKIDS also handles North American theatrical distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rogue One is finally here!

Celebrate Rogue One with some classic moments...

A throwback to some of the chortles and guffaws
from Robot Chicken's Star Wars specials.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The OA

THE OA - Netflix Original Series
[Source: blastr] Out of nowhere (almost) comes a new show from the streaming service that seems more than a little otherworldly.

In The OA, a new eight-part series debuting on Netflix this Friday (Dec. 16), Brit Marling plays a young woman named Prairie Johnson who went missing for seven years. When she finally returns, it's obvious that something has changed: Prairie was blind when she vanished and now can see.

Not only is her sight restored, but she apparently remembers everything that happened to her while she was gone -- only she refuses to tell her parents or the authorities anything about it.

Marling, who has long staked out a spot as one of independent film's most interesting actresses, is collaborating on The OA with her frequent filmmaking partner Zal Batmanglij, who directed her in Sound of My Voice and The East (the pair co-wrote both as well). Both films were atmospheric and mysterious, while Sound of My Voice danced around the edges of science fiction -- a genre Marling also explored in 2011's Another Earth and 2014's I, Origins, both directed by Mike Cahill.

Marling and Batmanglij reportedly co-wrote all eight episodes of The OA, and the show certainly looks as enigmatic and unsettling as their earlier work in the genre. The cast also includes Scott Wilson (The Walking Dead), Phyllis Smith (The Office), Jason Isaacs (Fury), Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact), Brendan Meyer (The Guest) and others.

As usual, all eight episodes will be available at once for binge viewing. The OA was actually announced last year but nothing more was heard of it until now, making the show's arrival and trailer very pleasant surprises (there also an Instagram account for the series that may provide more clues about the story).

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

#CreateCourage - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

A tearful message of friendship and kindness just in time for the holidays. This was filmed in the Philippines by Globe Advertising.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Miraculous Ladybug Christmas

It’s Christmas! While preparing for Christmas Eve with family, Adrien is about to spend his first Christmas without his mother. Thinking that his father does not want to celebrate the holidays this year, the schoolboy, saddened, turns into Cat Noir and leaves the family home to sing his anger in snowy Paris.

Watch Miraculous "Pire Noël" Christmas Special FULL in HD with original French dub and English subtitles.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Harry Potter Card Game just in time for Christmas

Beat Voldemort on your tabletop
with the terrific new Hogwarts Battle
What would it be like to become Harry or Hermione and battle You Know Who directly, blasting out spells, drafting allies, and relying on magical items? Introducing Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, the new cooperative deck-building game from USAopoly. In the game, up to four players can become Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville and battle through all seven years covered by the novels, defeating just about every major and minor villain along the way. It's not giving much away to reveal that our intrepid heroes will eventually have to take on He Who Must Not Be Named in order to save the world from total calamity...

Saturday, December 10, 2016

One of the Best Zombie Movies Ever...

Train to Busan is a 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse horror thriller film directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi and Ma Dong-seok. The film had its premiere in the Midnight Screenings section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2016. On August 7, the film set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record with over 10 million theatergoers. An American version of the movie is being planned.

Train to Busan is a harrowing zombie horror-thriller that follows a group of terrified passengers fighting their way through a countrywide viral outbreak while trapped on a suspicion-filled, blood-drenched bullet train ride to Busan, a southern resort city that has managed to hold off the zombie hordes... or so everyone hopes. 
Animatrix Review: First you had Snakes on a Plane, now you have Zombies on a Train. This is, hands down, one of the best zombie movies ever made. There are moments of terror where you'll find yourself shouting out loud, "Oh sh*t, RUN!" This is definitely a must-see for all you running dead fans.
95% on RottenTomatoes
- Animatrix