THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
1993, Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, 76 min, USA, Dir: Henry Selick

Two holidays collide as Jack Skellington, the leader of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town and decides he’d like to play Santa for a change - but with ghosts, ghouls and goblins helping him, Christmas turns more scary than merry. Tim Burton co-produced and wrote the story (based on characters he’d dreamed up while a Disney animator a decade earlier), and his charmingly creepy sensibility oozes from every frame of this wildly imaginative stop-motion fantasy. Featuring the voice talents of Chris Sarandon, Danny Elfman and Catherine O’Hara.


WOLF CHILDREN
OKAMI KODOMO NO AME TO YUKI
2012, Nippon Televsion, 117 min, Japan, Dir: Mamoru Hosoda

Hana notices a mysterious older man auditing one of her classes, and before long, the two begin dating. When she falls in love with him, he confesses that he is a descendant of an ancient tribe of wolfmen, who have the ability to alternate between human and wolf form. Hana does not bat an eye, and the two begin a lengthy romance that produces daughter Yuki and son Ame, who also exhibit furry tendencies. A tragedy leaves Hana alone to care, as best she can, for her two kids who behave more like pets than people. As young Yuki and Ame grow older, they must grapple with what they want to be: civilized human beings or the wild animals within. WOLF CHILDREN is the latest film from Hosoda (GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, SUMMER WARS), a protégé of the historic Toei Animation and the Hayao Miyazaki-led Studio Ghibli; many are calling him Japan’s next great animation master. But while WOLF CHILDREN exhibits amazing attention to detail and movement in its animation, it is no mere imitation of previous masters, as it displays a wry sense of humor, a mature view of romance and a deeply moving portrayal of siblings who transform - literally and figuratively - before our very eyes. In Japanese with English subtitles. Recommended ages: 9 and up.


A LIAR’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY - THE UNTRUE STORY OF MONTY PYTHON’S GRAHAM CHAPMAN
2012, Brainstorm Media, 85 min, UK, Dir: Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson, Ben Timlett

Before Monty Python alum Graham Chapman’s death in 1989, he recorded himself reading his book, 'A Liar's Autobiography.' These recordings, both wildly hilarious and poignant, and covering everything from Chapman’s WWII upbringing and his open homosexuality to his years as a Python member and his battle with alcoholism, have ingeniously been used to provide his voice for this 3-D animated feature. Featuring fellow Pythons John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam playing themselves as well as other characters, A LIAR’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY is Chapman's own take on his bizarre life and his search for self-knowledge. Now, as the film re-unites Chapman with his Python cohorts for the first time in 23 years, he is set to earn a new title - “the most prolific corpse since Elvis.”


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