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An Introduction, Should You Need One

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

An Introduction, Should You Need One

“The first film that I had in my possession was 3 meters long and was brown. It represented a young girl asleep in a field; she awoke, stretched, got up, and, arms outstretched, disappeared on the right side of the picture. That was it. On the box in which the film was put again was drawn a blushing picture with the words ‘Frau Holle.’ No one in my circle knew who Frau Holle was, but it hardly mattered; the film was a great success and was played every evening until it disintegrated to the...

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About the Project

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

About the Project

“On the one hand, (it) can be viewed as a long overdue acknowledgement of the distinctiveness and quality of the animated feature in relation to its live-action counterpart; on the other it may be perceived as a ghetto-ization of the form, which once more refuses its achievement in regard to other Hollywood products.” – Jill Nelmes on the Oscars adding animated films in 2002 I love kids movies. That’s right; I said it. Feel free to subject me to whatever psychoanalysis you wish, but...

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About the Author

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

About the Author

“Every day, to earn my bread, I travel to the marketplace of lies and stand in line, hopeful, with the other sellers.” – Bertolt Brecht Hello. I am Trevor Kupfer. I’m an award-winning sand sculptor, two-time spelling bee bronze medalist, and complimented hummus-maker. Also, I wrote the stuff on this website. Here’s my résumé. I grew up in Grafton, WI (just north of Milwaukee) and spent much of my childhood reenacting scenes from Ghostbusters, The Princess Bride, and Big Trouble in...

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All Play and No Work: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 3, 2012 in All Play and No Work | 0 comments

All Play and No Work: Introduction

“Johnny, sweep the leg.” – Sensei John Kreese We’re all too familiar with the formula for the sports movie. Even if the story isn’t about an underdog beating the odds (either an individual or team of misfits), chances are it will end with “the Big Game.” And how often is the result of that final game simply about victory or fame? It’s almost always a metaphor for something else. Sometimes studios opt for the tragically inspirational, as someone dies or suffers a career-ending...

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No Boys Allowed: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

No Boys Allowed: Introduction

“In Douglas Sirk movies the women think; it’s something that gives me hope.” – Rainer Werner Fassbinder I’m just a little bit bothered by people referring to certain movies as “chick flicks.” These are the movies marketed more toward women/girls, and are often love stories, rom/coms (romantic comedies), or musicals. I’m not bothered by the term itself, but the fact that there isn’t a label for movies marketed to men/boys. (The way “Penis Pics” or “Dick Pics” rolls off the tongue, it surprises...

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One-Man Show: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in One-Man Show | 0 comments

One-Man Show: Introduction

“Ladies and gentlemen – that should take care of most of you …” – Groucho Marx in A Night at the Opera Whenever I turned to this chapter during the writing of this book, I couldn’t escape the memory of something Roger Ebert once wrote. “A child that refuses to watch a black and white movie is one that should be sent to bed without supper until they change their minds.” While his hyperbole is, I think, meant to be comic, I can’t help but agree wholeheartedly. I have encountered dozens of...

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Song & Dance: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Song & Dance | 0 comments

Song & Dance: Introduction

“Off to the movies we shall go, where we learn everything that we know, ’cause the movies teach us what our parents don’t have time to say.” – South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut I have my parents to thank for my eclectic taste in movies. If you’re thinking it’s because they themselves must have diverse tastes and that must have rubbed off on me, you couldn’t be further from the truth. You can always count on my dad to be watching spy movies and Bond marathons, outdoor adventure programs...

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My Childhood: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in My Childhood | 0 comments

My Childhood: Introduction

“Go play outside.” – My parents … always Everyone has a special list of films that, for some reason or another, made a distinct impression on them as a child. For instance, I vividly remember my siblings and I crying because our tape of Drop Dead Fred had worn through (luckily the next generations won’t have to worry about that). I remember feeling cheated because, had I known this could happen, I would have carefully reserved screenings of the instant classic for when we really needed it...

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The Lion King (1994)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Song & Dance | 0 comments

The Lion King (1994)

Disclaimer: Some violence and an ultra-scary villain. The original plan and storyboards for the opening of this Disney sensation called for a dialogue-heavy introduction. That is, until Hans Zimmer unveiled his musical interpretation of The Circle of Life – a theme that repeats throughout the film. As the sun rises and the screen scrolls through vast and beautiful landscapes, hordes of animals journey to a great peak, where the heir to the throne will appear. The score builds slowly as a...

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Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 1 comment

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Disclaimer: While most Disney films are mildly racist or sexist, this is at least a little progressive. It does, however, have some scary parts. Beauty and the Beast is Disney’s crowning achievement, combining the enchanting magic of Snow White, the musical genius of The Little Mermaid, the striking fear of Fantasia and Pinocchio, and a visual ecstasy all its own. Instead of the simple two-dimensional style that has characters and action move in and out of frame, the picture often swirls in a...

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Whale Rider (2002)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Whale Rider (2002)

Disclaimer: Some ripe language, but nothing to worry about. I can say, without a doubt, that Whale Rider is the best feminist film since The Piano and is one of the best, if not the best, movie of 2003. But the mere mention of feminism turns many potential viewers away as they envision bra-burning, man-hating lesbians parading about and pushing their political agendas. But after winning audience awards at Sundance and Toronto film festivals and an Oscar nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes,...

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Ghostbusters I & II (1984 & 1989)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in My Childhood | 0 comments

Ghostbusters I & II (1984 & 1989)

Disclaimer: Violence against specters, sexual innuendo, some foul language, and glorification of unhealthy eating habits. If you were a boy born in the 80s, like my brother and I, you lived and breathed either Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Ghostbusters. We tried to impersonate both but when it came down to it, Ghostbusters far exceeded those fighting reptiles. We had every toy and piece of merchandising, right down to our own personalized jump suits, and when Saturday rolled around, we’d be...

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The General (1927), Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), and Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in One-Man Show | 0 comments

The General (1927), Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), and Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Disclaimer: Don’t try any of this at home, kids. Writers have labeled Buster Keaton a great many things. One coined him The Great Stone Face, in response to the stoic expression on Keaton’s bottle-like mug, atop which a porkpie hat often rested. Others took note of his elastic grace, regarding his comedic acrobatics. Some called him a discreet romantic with meticulous historical accuracy. Several have analyzed Keaton’s portfolio as a director, and taken note of his fierce and discerning eye....

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The Little Mermaid (1989)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Song & Dance | 0 comments

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Disclaimer: Some disturbing sexual implications. With The Little Mermaid, Disney introduced the world to a new kind of animated feature and ushered in an era of modern classics that include Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin. At the time, The Little Mermaid seemed comparable to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, not for classic film status, but for beginning a string of incredible animated films (Pinocchio, Fantasia, et al) known for impeccable visuals and smashing soundtracks. Not...

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Mulan (1998)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

Mulan (1998)

Disclaimer: Spitting, butt-slapping, skinny dipping, grunting, punching, fighting, cross-dressing, and other prototypical “manly” behaviors. Sadly, Disney’s unprecedented string of hits that began with The Little Mermaid and ended with The Lion King came to an end in the mid-90s, making way for a phase of mostly paltry releases dealing with “historical” figures. Though not as strong in the music category as Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or Hercules, Mulan more than makes up for it...

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Christmas Treats: Introduction

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Christmas Treats (Other Than Your Aunt Mildred's Gingersnaps) | 0 comments

Christmas Treats: Introduction

“Merry Christmas, movie house!” – George Bailey You may have noticed I labeled this chapter in violation of political correctness and with full knowledge of religious denomination. The fact is, quite simply, I’ve yet to see a single Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Festivus film that’s any good. If you have one to suggest, by all means I’d love to see it and include it in this volume. Besides that fact, the holiday season rarely injects the spirit of Jesus or Godliness into me, but the spirit of...

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A Night at the Opera (1935)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in One-Man Show | 0 comments

A Night at the Opera (1935)

Disclaimer: Double entendres and all-out anarchy. Though he knew nothing of The Marx Brothers, Jean-Michel Frodon, a cinema writer at the French newspaper Le Monde, recalls going to the cinema to see A Night at the Opera at the request of an acquaintance. At only 10 years old, reading subtitles was a difficult task, especially considering the rapid verbal pace of the mustached man with a cigar. Not that he cared to see what they were saying by that time. After all, he was already rolling on...

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The Neverending Story (1984)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in My Childhood | 0 comments

The Neverending Story (1984)

Disclaimer: My brother would literally cover his eyes and look away in the presence of the wolf in the film, so younger audiences may want to beware. After the critical success of Das Boot, German director Wolfgang Petersen moved to this cult classic fantasy film, his first in English, which led to two putrid sequels and an animated series. Despite its complicated and multi-layered plot, the movie is incredibly engaging as kids experience the adventure from two (not one) young protagonists,...

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Christmas Treats (Other Than Your Aunt Mildred's Gingersnaps) | 0 comments

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Disclaimer: Some young ones may find some of the creatures a tad freaky. While the Grinch and Rudolph have been holiday standards for decades, the highly eccentric mind of Tim Burton unleashed this uniquely satisfying blend of both and introduced us to the most visually stunning cinematic space of the decade. It is, in fact, the first film fully animated through the stop-motion technique, taking the filmmakers three years to complete and leading to an Oscar nomination for visual effects, only...

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The Gold Rush (1925)

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in One-Man Show | 0 comments

The Gold Rush (1925)

Disclaimer: Starvation isn’t usually funny. They may not know it, but many children have seen the work of Charles Chaplin. Even if they haven’t seen one of his unforgettable movies, they’ve seen Chaplin. Maybe they’ve grown up with Looney Tunes, caught a glimpse of Big Top Pee-Wee or Benny and Joon, or have seen comedic gags of any kind. In any and all of those cases, they’ve unknowingly seen Chaplin’s work. To say that the man changed screen comedy is an understatement. Saying that he changed...

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